Whole Foods Flees Woke San Francisco to Escape the Results of Wokeness 

Mark Roger Bailey / shutterstock.com
Mark Roger Bailey / shutterstock.com

In August of 2022, retiring Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey made headlines by blasting “woke” workers, “woke principles,” and socialism in general. The co-founder of the upscale grocery store drew heavy criticism with his views on the current state of freedom of speech, gun control, and the “woke” politics he viewed as divisive and destructive to capitalism. 

Now, in 2023, it seems his dire predictions have come true. San Francisco’s Trinity area Whole Foods branch is closing its doors against the rapidly declining city and fleeing to safer ground. The decision to abandon the store just a year after opening comes on the heels of “woke” California policies that encourage shoplifting, ignore rampant drug use, and limit the power of the police force to address criminal activities.  

During the fall of 2022, the Whole Foods branch in Trinity was forced to cut back on its operational hours due to theft and to change its public restroom policy after repeatedly finding syringes and other drug paraphernalia in the bathrooms. 

To soothe hurt feelings, a Whole Foods spokesperson told the San Francisco Standard that the decision is temporary. “We are closing our Trinity location only for the time being. If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in the store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location.” 

With leadership in the form of soft-on-crime figures like Gavin Newsom, that time will never come. 

It’s likely that the April murder of Cash App founder Bob Lee, just a few blocks from the Whole Foods Market, played a role in the decision to abandon the location. The horrific homicide is being euphemistically called an “early morning mugging” and was followed just a few days later by a brutal attack on former fire commissioner Don Carmignani. 

San Francisco’s liberal policies have led to a crime rate 110% higher than the national average and 91% higher than California’s overall average crime rate. In particular, San Francisco’s violent crime rate is 40% higher than the national average. The city’s police department faces an $800 million budget deficit and has lost over 540 officers since 2017. 

Silicon Valley architect Adam Mayer tweeted about the store closure, noting, “The same activists who screech about ‘health equity’ and the lack of grocery stores in ‘underserved communities’ are the same folks who push social policies that make it impossible to operate a grocery store there.” 

A Boston Globe op-ed columnist agrees, writing, “It’s really not complicated. When District Attorneys refuse to prosecute shoplifting, shoplifting increases. When shoplifting increases, stores go out of business.” 

Whole Foods is just the latest example of the recent exodus of businesses from San Francisco to greener pastures. The city has increased office vacancies by nearly 30% and lost corporate leases from tech giants, including Credit Karma, Airbnb, PayPal, Oracle, and Slack. 

Retail super chains such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Nordstrom Rack, Walgreens, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Ulta fled San Francisco within the past year, and more, like Amazon Go, are calling it quits soon. 

Tax-paying residents are leaving the city in droves. Between 2020 and 2021, San Francisco lost over 125,000 people. 

This series of unfortunate events is called a Doom Loop, where one negative factor triggers other negative factors in a cycle of unending crisis.  

And while anyone could have predicted the fallout of soft-on-crime policies, it seems Gavin Newsom and his band of merry lawmakers either can’t see it or just don’t care.  

Either way, Whole Foods is lifting its anchors and fleeing to safer waters. Like any story with a sad ending, let’s hope everyone learned a valuable lesson on the real-world outcomes of “woke” policies in America.