Hayes Valley was the first neighborhood in San Francisco to ban formula retail (i.e., “chain stores”), having adopted the ban nearly a decade ago in order to block Starbucks from opening on Hayes Street. As written, the formula retail ban blocks businesses with eleven (11) or more retail stores in the U.S. from opening on Hayes Valley’s commercial corridor.
With only eight (8) stores in the U.S., giant formula retailer GANT opened a retail store two months ago at 552 Hayes, smack-dab in the middle of the Hayes Valley corridor.
Spearheaded by concerned local merchants fearing “incursions from formula retail,” Supervisor London Breed has since introduced proposed legislation to extend Hayes Valley’s formula retail ban to establishments with eleven or more locations anywhere in the world, noting “Hayes Valley must protect its vibrant and expanding small business sector, and maintain its supportive environment for new small business innovators.”
As some might recall, two weeks ago San Francisco’s Planning Commission approved the opening of a CVS at 2280 Market Street, based in part upon the Planning Department’s recommendation that the competition with other retailers would result “in prices that are more competitive and a greater availability of goods and services.”
The proposed Hayes Valley amendment would also extend the formula retail ban to establishments with fewer than eleven locations if fifty percent or more of “the stock, shares, or any similar ownership interest of such establishment is owned by a formula retail use, or a subsidiary, affiliate, or parent of a formula retail use.”