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SF residents, tourists react to Union Square Macy’s closure

A shot of the world-famous San Francisco Macy's
Flickr / Creative Commons
A shot of the world-famous San Francisco Macy's in Union Square.

Outside the Macy’s flagship on Geary Street Wednesday, residents and visitors alike reacted to news that the iconic department store would be closing.

“Macy’s is closing? When?”

Sally Smith, of San Francisco, had this to say, “It doesn’t surprise me. The big box places are kind of dead. Macy’s has been sliding for years.”

John Buza was downtown visiting from Arizona, “I just heard about it on the news last night. One of the reasons I came down to Union Square was to walk into Macy’s, take a few pictures. Say I’m a little dismayed that an iconic feature like this is shuttering, but I’m sure something will take it’s place and life will go on. But it’s a sad day when you lose something with as much history as Macy’s has in the area.”

David Platt, from Walnut Creek, also came into the city to visit the store. “This is an iconic store, one of the oldest in the country. I just can’t imagine San Francisco without it to be honest. It’s going to leave a gaping hole in Union Square.”

“We were just here today because we heard about the announcement. We spent some time in there trying on colognes. It’s a little old school. We’re afraid this is going to be lost, like all department stores are going to go away because of the online competition. So, today we were there savoring it and making memories before it closes.”

A local resident, named Joe, who said he lives a few blocks away from Union Square, spoke to the impact that store closures have on the neighborhood and the city as a whole.

“It’s sad, somebody that has more influence and power is gonna have to step up. All I can do is try to support the stores in my neighborhood. But we have a lot of empty buildings its crazy. I don’t know how long we can sustain the loss, because we’re losing.”

Pat McMahon is a member of the 2024 KALW Audio Academy, an audio producer, sound artist, and radio enthusiast.