New Fight About Chain Stores May Erupt on Valencia Street


The Aesop perfume store is planned for the space on the right and a Chrome bag store is planned for the space on the left. Photo by Lydia Chávez/Mission Local

By Rigoberto Hernandez, Mission Local
The next battle over chain stores on the increasingly gentrified Valencia Street has likely arrived. Aesop, an upscale Australian perfume retailer, and San Francisco messenger bag company, Chrome Industries, confirmed to Mission Local that they plan to move into a vacant Valencia Street storefront early next year.

If recent history is any indication, it’s the Aussie company that’s in for a San Francisco treat — and it sure isn’t Rice-A-Roni — in opening what would be its 12th U.S. store, putting it squarely within the definition of chain stores in the San Francisco planning code. Merchants on Valencia have now famously stopped two formula retail projects from moving in over the years — Jack Spade and American Apparel.

Zoning restrictions in the Mission require chain stores — defined by the city as any company that has 11 or more brick-and-mortar locations in the United States — to get a special permit. Since Aesop is over the threshold with its dozen locations nationwide, including two locations already in San Francisco, the Planning Commission would hold a public hearing before granting approval.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

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