Posted on April 9, 2024

San Francisco Proposal Would Allow Lawsuits Over Grocery Store Closures

Eric Revell, Fox News, April 7, 2024

San Francisco lawmaker introduced a proposal that would require grocery stores in the city to provide six months of notice before closing a store and to explore a replacement supermarket at the vacated location.

Dean Preston, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, introduced what he calls the Grocery Protection Act – which is based on a proposal the board approved in 1984 that was vetoed by then-San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein.

Preston’s proposal would require grocery store owners to provide six months written notice to the Board of Supervisors as well as the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD). The store would also be required to post notices at all entries and exits as a means of informing customers and the general public. The rule wouldn’t preclude closures due to a store being unprofitable.

“It was a good idea in 1984, and it’s an even better idea now,” Preston said in a press release. “Our communities need notice, an opportunity to be heard, and a transition plan when major neighborhood grocery stores plan to shut their doors. Meeting the food security needs of our seniors and families cannot be left to unilateral backroom decisions by massive corporate entities.”


Under the legislation, any person affected by a grocery store’s failure to comply with the requirements could initiate legal proceedings for damages, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, or a writ of mandate to remedy the violation.

Preston’s proposal comes as San Francisco deals with a rise in store and office closures as the city deals with a crime and drug crisis that has made it more difficult for businesses to operate.