San Francisco’s iconic Gump’s department store boss challenges Mayor London Breed to SWAP jobs for 180 days as ‘tyranny of the minority’ forces retailers to shut up shop
The iconic boss of San Francisco department store Gump’s has challenged Mayor London Breed to swap jobs with him for 180 days so he can solve the growing homelessness in the crime-intoxicated city.
CEO John Chachas, 59, compared the Golden City to Gotham and said he believes Democratic officials are at a “critical juncture” in their ability to turn things around.
The multimillionaire’s call to action comes after he pays for a full-page ad in the city’s most-read newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle, for a scathing open letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Breed.
He accused the politicians of dereliction of duty, citing the rampant homelessness and theft that have become a feature of the city’s streets – and now threaten the survival of his historic 166-year-old shop.
On Monday, he said he wouldn’t let his old luxury furniture store become the latest casualty of the so-called “retail apocalypse” without a fight — he even offered to take Breed’s job for six months to sort it out.
John Chachas, 59, the CEO of San Francisco’s iconic department store Gump’s, has challenged Mayor London Breed to swap jobs with him for 180 days so he can solve rising homelessness in the crime-intoxicated city
Luxury home furnishing and home furnishings retailer Gump’s has been in business for 166 years – with its only physical location just a block from San Francisco’s Union Square – at the heart of the city’s crime and homelessness problems
Chachas accused the politicians of dereliction of duty, citing the rampant homelessness and theft that have become a feature of the city’s streets – and now threaten the survival of his historic 166-year-old shop.
Gump’s has been a fixture in the Bay Area for decades, with its only physical outlet located just a block from the once-glamorous Union Square – which is now at the heart of the city’s homelessness problems.
“What motivated me to write the letter was the belief that we would not see a change in the behavior of elected officials until public sentiment was publicly discussed,” Chachas said. Fox news.
And so I decided that since I have the money and the ability to do that, I’d help clear that up for them.
“I have a wonderful company with great people who are very committed to it – but we live in a city that is not functioning.”
“I would probably trade jobs with Mayor Breed for 180 days,” he added.
“I’ll let her run Gump’s for 180 days, she can let me run the town for 180 days and we’ll see how we do… you’d see a lot of change in 180 days, I can tell you that.”
Chachas said the situation was “getting worse,” but that Newsome and Breed “either can’t understand it or are unwilling to actually make the policy changes that are needed.”
“I’ve decided I’m going down swinging,” he said. “Gump’s will survive and we will go elsewhere if necessary.
“I don’t really want to do that, but it’s kind of insane to live in an environment where you go to work every day, or people go to work, and customers can’t go to your store — that’s not a normal business . environment.’
Chacha’s call to action comes after he pays for a full-page ad in the city’s most-read newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle, to send a scathing open letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor London Breed.
Newsom and Breed have seen a sharp decline in San Francisco since the pandemic
The dirt and squalor at the intersection of Jones and Eddy Streets in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, a few blocks from the department store
He added that officials now had to act to prevent the city from becoming more like Gotham – a fictional dystopia from the Batman movies.
“I think we’re at a critical juncture,” Chachas said. This can be turned around. This can be resolved. Pretending the problem will go away will not solve it.
“Functioning business districts are incompatible with those two terrible pillars of empty offices on one side and gigantic swarms of homeless people on the other that are left unattended. You will not have a functioning center of the city.
“Go see the movie Batman and Gotham – because that’s where you’re going if you don’t turn this around.”
In his letter published Aug. 13, Chachas said he fears his store’s 166th holiday season “might be the last” because of what he called the “tyranny of the few” that is destroying the “livelihood of the many” in endangers.
Chachas, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in Nevada in 2010 as a Republican, blamed the “branches of the Covid policy advising people to leave office” by elected Democrats for the acute decline of the downtown area.
Specializing in luxury furniture and jewelry, Gump’s was founded in 1861 and the Chacha family bought it in 2019.
The company has only one physical location: on Post Street, just steps from San Francisco’s once-glamorous Union Square, which is now the center of the crime crisis.
A woman lies unconscious in front of a children’s playground. Even luxury areas like Russian Hill, which is part of the Hyde Street cable car route, and tourist spots like the Golden Gate Bridge have been affected
The luxury retailer is said to be the latest in a long list of stores to leave the city as politicians fail to address persistent crime and homelessness since the pandemic
The plight has led to a mass exodus of shopkeepers in the area, with at least half of the area’s stores closing since the start of the pandemic.
Brooks Brothers, Ray Ban, Christian Louboutin, Lululemon and Marmot are among at least 95 retailers who have packed up and left town for greener pastures.
This number continues to grow – with Williams Sonoma, AT&T, Nordstrom and Banana Republic recently announcing that they will also retire their downtown stores in the coming months.
The last stores to survive, such as Target, have resorted to locking their entire inventory behind glass to deter shoplifters.
Industry groups have noted the problem with theft, with the National Retail Federation saying organized retail crime is costing stores about $100 billion a year, according to a survey of 2022.
By 2021, retailers will see a 27 percent increase in theft by organized crime gangs, the study found. To address the problem, they invested more money in safety and security measures to protect employees, customers and goods.