San Francisco has recently seen a trend of prominent businesses closing as the city faces rampant crime. Recently, a luxury department store that is a staple of downtown San Francisco announced it could be closing its doors, where the owner blamed lawlessness and a “litany of destructive” policies for ruining the city.
John Chachas, the owner of the Gump’s luxury department store, which has been in business for nearly 166 years, aired his grievances to various leaders across the state of California in an open letter. In the letter, Chachas called out Governor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and the Board of Supervisors over the county and city of San Francisco.
“Gump’s has been a San Francisco icon for more than 165 years,” Chachas began the letter. “Today, as we prepare for our 166th holiday season at 250 Post Street, we fear this may be our last because of the profound erosion of this city’s conditions.”
Chachas slammed the “destructive” policies which allegedly enable crime and homelessness to run rampant through the streets of San Francisco. The owner of the luxury store claimed that the homeless are allowed to use and distribute drugs openly on the streets with impunity.
“Equally devastating have been a litany of destructive San Francisco strategies, including allowing the homeless to occupy our sidewalks, to openly distribute and use illegal drugs, to harass the public and to defile the city’s streets,” he explained, labeling it a “tyranny of the minority.”
Chachas even claims that San Francisco has felt so unsafe that some customers feel too scared to shop in the city. One customer told him, “I love your store. I love your product. I’ll buy something online. I don’t want to step foot into that city.”
Chachas pointed out that other cities around the country do not experience similar levels of crime, particularly shoplifting, due to the rule of law actually being enforced. He claims soft-on-crime policies have created an environment without disincentive to committing crime.
“People don’t walk into stores in Salt Lake City and steal things because they know that the police will arrest them, and the district attorney will charge them, and they will be found guilty and put in prison, so people don’t do it,” he said.
Speaking with common sense, which seems to have been lost in many liberal cities across the country, Chachas maintains that an urban society must have order to function properly. “You have to return to a set of norms and standards of conduct that are enforced and stop talking about it like there’s some special pixie dust that exists in San Francisco,” he stated.
Since the pandemic, prime retail locations in San Francisco have been hit hard. For example, dozens of businesses have closed in the city’s famous Union Square over the past couple of years.
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