san francisco safewy close early
© Mike Kepka/The Chronicle
The Safeway store at Market and Church streets in San Francisco now closes earlier, at 9 p.m., because of what the company describes as an “increasing amount of theft.” San Francisco supervisors complain that the early closure will negatively affect customers and employees of the store.
Yet another major retailer in San Francisco has made the decision to close earlier due to excessive theft particularly at night, according to San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.

The Castro Safeway on Market and Church Streets was open 24 hours, but that's not the case any longer. Signs posted on its entrance state its new hours are 6 am to 9 pm, effective October 24.

Many shoppers were surprised to find that the Safeway they frequent at off-hours is cutting back.

"I feel like it's definitely an inconvenience, not everybody can make it to the supermarket between those hours, so it's a little frustrating, especially for me personally. I like to shop later on," said Chris Rankins, who lives in the Castro.

Mandelman's district includes the Market Street Safeway. He said the company reached out to him to discuss problems with theft.

"I think like a lot of retailers they've been experiencing increasing property crime and theft from their stores," Mandelman said. "I think the last 6 months from what they say has been sort of - off the charts in terms of how bad it's been. It's sad, upsetting and frustrating."

Mandelman said he's now working on organizing a meeting with Safeway, San Francisco police and the district attorney.

"It's an equity problem," he said. "There's a lot of low-income folks, seniors, folks with disability, who rely on that Safeway and other Safeways around the city."

For now, Johnny Denham, who works at night, will have to change his routine.

"It's better for me to come up here after work, go shopping and go home," he said. "Now it's like I either have to go shopping before work, or on my days off, which I really don't like doing."

Safeway did not immediately return KPIX 5's request for comment.

Mandelman added that Safeway told him police rarely arrest anyone for a property crime, by the time they make it on the scene.