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Cotopaxi CEO apologizes for disparaging SF blog post, reopens store

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The CEO of a retail chain who wrote a blog post describing San Francisco as a “city of chaos” after a Hayes Valley store closed has apologized and reopened the SF store. Last month on LinkedIn, Cotopaxi CEO Davis Smith posted an article saying San Francisco had “descended into a city of chaos” to announce the closure of the brand’s store in Hayes Valley due to numerous thefts. display and other thefts.

“Our first week there, our windows were smashed and thousands of dollars worth of product was stolen,” Smith wrote. “We replaced the window, and it happened again immediately (four times). We replaced the window with plywood because we waited over a month to install a metal security gate. »

Smith wrote that the staff at the SF store did not feel safe and lamented that they “now avoid San Francisco, a city I loved”.

But in a new LinkedIn post this week, Smith apologized for his harsh words to the city and announced that the Cotopaxi site in Hayes Valley had reopened with full-time private security in place.

“I recognize that with the emotions I felt that day, I used harsh words to describe our experience in SF,” Smith wrote Thursday. “I’m not someone who likes conflict or controversy, so for that I apologize. My intention wasn’t to tear down San Francisco, a city I’ve loved since childhood and where I have family, but it was to transparently share something that was wrong for us, something disappointing that we were going through.

Smith said he hopes his earlier post can draw attention to the issues that many Bay Area retailers have complained about with numerous incidents of theft and shoplifting.

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“I was hoping my post might somehow get the town’s attention since our other efforts had failed,” he wrote. “Fortunately, the message and the media attention that followed caught their attention, which sparked some needed change in the Hayes Valley District.

“We recognize that if we want change we have to be part of the change we want to see, so we’re here to help,” he continued, adding that after meetings with the Hayes Valley Merchants Association, the Board of Supervisors and the SFPD, the store would be open again.

He also announced a partnership with a non-profit organization that supports housing, early childhood education and employment solutions.

Smith said he regretted that his previous post disparaging San Francisco had been politicized and encouraged people to visit the Hayes Valley site and give a warm hello to the team there, adding “they’ve been through a lot the last year”.

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