San Francisco city officials were hit with a harshly worded letter of departure from the founder and CEO of a quite popular clothing and gear outfitter, stating that he and his company will be moving away from the city because it has “descended into a city of chaos.”
Davis Smith, the CEO of Cotopaxi, stated that almost daily robbery attempts, fear for the safety of all his employees, and the constant vandalism has left the man with no choice but to close the store he set up “in a charming shopping district” roughly a year ago. The refusal from the city to do anything about the robberies and to assist with the safety of the area has made it quite difficult to run any sort of business, he expressed.
“Our team is terrified,” expressed Smith as part of his long letter posted to his LinkedIn account. “They feel unsafe. Security guards don’t help because these theft rings know that security guards won’t/can’t stop them. It’s impossible for a retail store to operate in these circumstances, especially when cities refuse to take any action (despite us paying taxes well above any other state we operate in).”
“As of today, we are closing the store due to rampant organized theft and lack of safety for our team,” stated Smith. “Our store is hit by organized theft rings several times per week. They brazenly enter the store and grab thousands of dollars of product and walk out.”
A fair number of other businesses have already departed the city in the wake of city officials choosing to drop the penalty for shoplifting anything under a total of $950 worth of goods as the city is being forced to deal with a massive surge in homelessness, crime, and public drug use. Countless viral videos have highlighted shoplifters clearing out store shelves into massive bags and just departing the stores, strolling past security guards.
Taking its name from an active volcano located in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, Cotopaxi is a prime competitor to Patagonia that sells camping and hiking gear along with outdoor clothing and is known to laud its commitment to the environment, global hunger, and many other causes. However, Smith, who created the company back in 2014, claimed that his business never had a chance to flourish out in San Francisco.
Smith, who stated that he grew up in Latin America, stated that he and his wife got a very bitter first-hand taste of the extreme lawlessness descending on the city. He described a recent visit, stating that his rental car was broken into and robbed. After he finally called the police, they threw the blame on him for parking on the street, he explained.
In another instance, he wrote, “a drugged up person ran up to my wife’s face and started screaming some of the most obscene things I’ve ever heard. She was terrified.”
“It’s sad, but San Francisco appears to have descended into a city of chaos,” stated Smith. “Many streets and parks are overrun with drugs, criminals, and homelessness, and local leadership and law enforcement enable it through inaction.”