The LEGO store at San Francisco Centre permanently closed last week, making it the latest retailer to shutter at the fatigued downtown mall. The store was left deserted with a sign on the door reading, “Thank you — it’s been awesome! We have permanently closed as of November 30th, 2023 and we will miss all our friends and fans.”
A spokesperson confirmed the closure to SFGATE, writing, “We are always reviewing our store portfolio to ensure that we can provide the best LEGO experience for shoppers and fans.” They also clarified that the store’s former employees will receive “financial support through the holidays.”
Redditors had a lot to say about the closure in a thread posted over the weekend.
“It’s wild they did this the month before Christmas,” writes one commenter. “Shows a shocking lack of faith in that location that they’d chose to miss out on the Christmas toy rush just to get out of there.”
“Loved the store and the employees. Sad won’t be able to take my kid there anymore,” said another. “Other stores are too far away coming from the North Bay.”
There are three other LEGO stores located in the Bay Area: Hillsdale Shopping Center (San Mateo), Stoneridge Mall (Pleasanton), and Westfield Valley Fair (Santa Clara).
In June 2023, the SF Standard released an analysis stating that 45 of SF Centre’s 97 retailers had closed since the beginning of the pandemic. Several dozen new stores opened in their place, but the mall has still been left with many vacancies.
The mall’s decline is perhaps most apparent during the holiday season, as shoppers had grown accustomed to seeing the dazzling upside-down Christmas tree suspended beneath the mall’s characteristic glass dome. The display has not made an appearance in 2022 or 2023.
San Francisco Centre was previously owned by Westfield and Brookfield Properties, but Gregg Williams of Trident Pacific took over ownership in October. The jury is still out on what the mall’s future will hold.