American Eagle sues Westfield over San Francisco mall conditions.
The retailer filed a lawsuit against Westfield, accusing the company of allowing its San Francisco Centre mall to “deteriorate into disarray.”
An employee of American Eagle, which has a store in the mall, reported gun violence, physical assaults, burglaries, and robberies at the mall because of Westfield’s breach of lease.
As a result of its failure to prevent these issues from infecting its mall, Westfield accepted no responsibility. In its complaint, American Eagle accused San Francisco of all responsibility. American Eagle paid millions for this store, but it’s not what Westfield promised.
As a result of Westfield’s failures and broken promises, American Eagle is suing for compensation.
We could even tear down the whole building and build a new soccer stadium. The space could be used for a lab or we could use it in some other capacity as a company,” she said.
A common strategy for retailers looking to get out of long-term leases is to file lawsuits. The lease between American Eagle and Westfield expires in 2028.
A decline in sales, occupancy, and foot traffic in downtown San Francisco led to the company’s decision.
Nordstrom and Banana Republic were among the major stores that announced closures at the mall.
In the past few years, the San Francisco Centre has taken a significant hit. Westfield reports a decline in sales from $455 million in 2019 to $298 million in 2022 and a decline in foot traffic from 9.7 million to 5.6 million visits.