AT&T to shut flagship store in downtown San Francisco

AT&T to shut flagship store in downtown San Francisco

(Reuters) – U.S. wireless carrier AT&T said it would close its flagship store in downtown San Francisco, deepening the real estate pain in the once-booming tech hub that has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

Stores in San Francisco have been closing their doors as they try to cut down on real estate space in the face of declining customer visits, occupancy and sales. Office buildings lie empty as more people work from home, compounded by major layoffs by large tech companies.

AT&T said its Powell St store would close on Aug. 1 and all retail employees affected by this change would be offered jobs at one of the other locations in the city.

“Consumer shopping habits continue to change, and we’re changing with them. That means serving customers where they are through the right mix of retail stores, digital channels and our phone-based care team,” a company spokesperson said.

Earlier this week, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said it would transfer its Westfield San Francisco shopping mall to lenders. Nordstrom said last month it was going to give up its downtown store in the mall.

Real estate investment trust Park Hotels & Resorts had also said last week it ceased making payments toward a $725 million mortgage linked to its Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 hotels.

In April, AT&T had reported dismal cash flow and missed market estimates for first-quarter revenue, underscoring the toll from strained consumer wallets.

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