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Elon Musk Calls San Francisco 'Post-Apocalyptic' as Another Major Retailer Leaves Due to Crime In a recent tweet, the tech CEO chimed in about retailers like Whole Foods and Nordstrom leaving downtown San Francisco due to crime.

By Madeline Garfinkle

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Elon Musk in August 2022.

Elon Musk said downtown San Francisco "feels post-apocalyptic" in a recent tweet.

Musk's comment was in reply to a Twitter thread discussing the news that Nordstrom would be closing both of its stores in downtown San Francisco by August. The company stated that while it was a tough decision, the "dynamics" of the area have "changed dramatically." The announcement came just weeks after Whole Foods closed its downtown location after only being open for a year.

"So many stores shuttered in downtown SF. Feels post-apocalyptic," he tweeted, followed by another tweet: "The philosophy that led to this bleak outcome will be the end of civilization if extended to the world."

Since 2020, at least 20 retailers have shuttered business in San Francisco's downtown area, 11 of which closed in 2023 alone, according to The San Francisco Standard.

Musk hasn't been shy about sharing his feelings about San Francisco, where the Twitter headquarters are located. In April, the tech CEO tweeted that one could film an episode of The Walking Dead "unedited" in downtown San Francisco.

Just a few days later, in the wake of Cash App founder Bob Lee's murder, Musk called violent crime in the city "horrific" — which was later met with backlash by District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who called his statements "reckless and irresponsible," as Lee was murdered by someone he knew, and was not a random act of violence.

Related: A Suspect Has Been Arrested in Killing of Cash App Founder Bob Lee

"Statements like those contained in Mr. Musk's tweet that assumed incorrect circumstances about Mr. Lee's death served to mislead the world in their perceptions of San Francisco," Jenkins said in a statement, per NBC Bay Area.

While violent crime in San Francisco is relatively low, instances of robbery and theft occur in the thousands each year, according to city police data. It also ranked second as the city most affected by organized retail crime in 2021 and 2020, according to a 2022 survey by the National Retail Federation.

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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