The following is an open letter from Dema Grim, local business owner, to Pilar LaValley of the San Francisco Planning Department:
It has come to my attention that American Apparel is interested in opening up on Valencia at 20th st. I’d like to express my vehement opposition to them, or any other formula retailer, opening in the neighborhood.
I opened my shop in 1997 and since then have watched the Mission grow into the premier destination for small, independent designer boutiques. This has been a long process involving convincing other business owners that it’s a viable neighborhood to do business in and convincing customers that their neighborhood need not consist solely of thrift stores and 99c stores. The appearance of any formula retailer not only would lessen the sense of originality unique to the neighborhood but would also severely cut into our sales. This would be disastrous especially in these volatile economic times when we are already struggling against the massive markdowns of the downtown retailers.
Please, please think carefully about the long term consequences of allowing formula retailers to invade our special neighborhood.
Thank you for your time,
1038 Valencia St
SF, CA 94110