The proprietor of a prominent apparel and gear retailer published a scathing goodbye letter to San Francisco, stating that the city had “descended into a city of chaos.”
Cotopaxi CEO Davis Smith said he had no choice but to close the store he built in a picturesque retail center a year ago due to near-daily thefts, persistent vandalism, and concerns for the safety of his staff.
He claims that the city’s failure to address theft and safety issues makes it hard to manage the business and stay profitable.
Numerous other companies have also departed San Francisco in recent months after the liberal controlled city decided to reduce the punishment for theft less of merchandise that is less than $950 in value.
The radical move came in spite of the fact that the city is currently experiencing a major increase in homelessness, public drug use, and extreme violence.
Numerous viral videos have emerged showing shoplifters emptying store shelves into trash bags and strolling out of businesses while security personnel stand around and proceed to do nothing while they make their getaways.
Cotopaxi is a rival to the popular Patagonia brand, which offers outdoor clothes and gear and promotes its devotion to the environment and other issues.
Smith, who launched the Utah-based startup in 2014, claims his venture never had a chance in the newly anarchic San Francisco.
Thieves damaged the store’s windows and plundered it during its first week of operation at 549 Hayes St.
Smith claimed that he replaced the windows four times before eventually putting up plywood.
During business hours, the establishment attempted to keep its doors shut, enabling only customers to access. However this solution didn’t work for long as organized gangs of thieves would send in a lady to appear as a client, then slip in behind her to begin pillaging the store.
Smith, who grew raised in Latin America, said he and his wife had witnessed the city’s descent into lawlessness firsthand.
“I grew up in Latin America and spent much of my adult life there, and I never felt this unsafe there. Something has to change in San Francisco.” Smith said in closing.