A recent article in San Francisco Bay Times highlighted three Hayes Valley stores; they checked in with each to discuss the challenging business climate during the pandemic. Some key points and excerpts from this article include:
Hayes Valley is one of the last independent shopping neighborhoods in San Francisco. The uniqueness, vibrance, and charm of Hayes Valley is largely due to its restriction on formula retail (aka chain stores).
small merchants are also concerned by murmurings that commercial realtors wish to leverage the pandemic to allow chain stores into Hayes Valley, in an opportunist attempt to profit from the pandemic. An SF Business Times article from September 2020 featured a prominent commercial realtor describing hopes of ending Hayes Valley’s chain ban. One merchant mentioned frequent sightings of commercial realtors scoping out suffering stores like vultures around a dying carcass.
The fantastic thing about Hayes Valley is that it continues to be a draw for the never-before, excitement of interesting, independent stores and small restaurants. Formula retail offers nothing but higher rents for the small companies, which endangers our very existence.