Whole Foods to shut flagship store in San Francisco due to employee safety concerns

Whole Foods is closing their flagship San Francisco store on Monday at the end of business hours. 

Whole Foods told KTVU that the store on Market Street at 8th is shutting down for the time being because of employee safety concerns. A city supervisor calls the closure temporary. 

"To ensure the safety of our Team Members, we have made the difficult decision to close the Trinity store for the time being," a spokesperson for Whole Foods wrote in a statement. 

An employee at the store told KTVU they were made aware of the closure early Monday.

Whole Foods said all employees will keep their jobs and be transferred to other store locations. 

The store opened on March 10, 2022, and was nearly 65,000 square feet. 

Five months ago, the Tenderloin Center —  a place intended to be a safe place to reduce overdose deaths for those who use drugs and provided services for the unhoused — was across the street from Whole Foods, but closed. 

An Ikea is set to open down the street from the Whole Foods later this spring. 

District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey, whose district includes SoMa and the location of this market, said he was disappointed, but "sadly unsurprised" by temporary closure. 

"Our neighborhood waited a long time for this supermarket, but we're also well aware of problems they've experienced with drug-related retail theft, adjacent drug markets, and the many safety issues related to them. In a thread on Twitter, Dorsey, quickly pivoted to a charter amendment he and fellow supervisor, Catherine Stefani, are working on to get SFPD fully staffed in five years. Dorsey seems to be linking the Whole Foods closure to police under staffing. Dorsey did not elaborate on what exactly he means by "drug-related retail theft." 

KTVU reached out to San Francisco Mayor London Breed about the safety issue. She has yet to respond to our request.