Chain Luxury Cosmetics Retailer to Further Ruin Valencia

The Balm, a new make-up store-slash-glamor shots, which recently opened blocks away from the proposed Aesop.

After the landlord tripled the rent on The Touch and forced the furniture store to relocate to Mission Street, Aesop, a Australian company that specializes in high-end perfumes and body products, stepped up to lease the space at 20th and Valencia.

Luxury perfumes, you say?  On Valencia?  Whatever.  Color us surprised.

But while many will shoot exhausted eye-rolls at the further Union Streetification of the neighborhood's Uber conga line, Mission Local is predicting the claws of jittery business community will come out:

If recent history is any indication, it’s the Aussie company that’s in for a San Francisco treat – and it sure isn’t Rice-A-Roni – in opening what would be its 12th U.S. store – putting it squarely within the definition of chain stores in the San Francisco planning code. Merchants on Valencia have now famously stopped two formula retail projects from moving in over the years – Jack Spade and American Apparel.

Zoning restrictions in the Mission require chain stores – defined by the city as any company that has 11 or more brick-and-mortar locations in the United States – to get a special permit. Since Aesop is over the threshold with its dozen locations nationwide, including two locations already in San Francisco, the Planning Commission would hold a public hearing before granting approval.

Yes, another company has stepped up to clash with the community, showering themselves in bad press and Chicken John's semen in the process.  So grab your umbrellas, folks, because Aesop didn't even look at the shitty weather forecast:

Aesop likely does not know the NIMBY hazing that may lie in its future. The opposition to Jack Spade appeared to be news to Aesop’s New York-based spokeswoman Victoria Del Rico when Mission Local talked to her Monday. “We’re not trying to gentrify the neighborhood,” she responded. “We like to have small stores that go with the neighborhood.”

While we'd ordinarily label this as “dead on arrival,” we suspect Aesop has a good chance of sneaking into the neighborhood thanks to the area's collective burnout.

[Mission Local]

Comments (35)

Chicken John has been shooting blanks for years.


They are abusive with their staff! and yes they are local but have sold out to Walgreens and TJ MAXX

You know a lot about them. Did they fire you?

read their glassdoor reviews dummy

They should open this on Capp Street, the perfume would help combat the urine stench.

Resistance is futile. Longterm Valencia merchants should expect their rents to triple and plan accordingly.

Valencia Street has been largely ruined for years. I’ve been avoiding it as a north-south walking route since at least 1998. Mission Street has pluckily resisted ruination–the luxury condo between 21st and 22nd might be the proverbial straw.

Anyone bothering to research would see that Aesop is not a perfume store.

Really? It will further “ruin” Valencia? A bit dramatic, no?

Let the people vote with their dollars.

Dramatic? No way, the person in the fat winnie the poah costume does not like attention.

Voting with your dollar doesn’t always provide an accurate representation of what people want.

For example if you look at cocktail bars vs. dive bars. A dive bar can be really popular with people ordering $2-3 beers and $4-5 well drinks. Now, a cocktail thats less popular but still fairly popular will charge now $10-12 for a drink. Once rents in the area start to rise the dive bar can’t physically move enough cheap beer and drinks to stay viable. It doesn’t matter what they do, they can provide live music, games, and etc… but they will fail and the cocktail bar will survive. So someone might look at the situation and say, well I guess people voted with their dollars. In this way places that are actually desired by locals get pushed out. It must be really tough in SF, even if the cool mission cats started moving to the Excelsior in droves, rents there are still high compared to Oakland, and especially Portland.

What Im saying is that in a city like SF one needs strict controls on business placement if they want to keep neighborhood characteristics.

Let the people vote with their dollars.

That’s another way of saying “only rich people matter.”

It’s true. But your dollar is worth more than your vote.

R.I.P. Vote

It’s also another way of saying that if everything turns to shit, that’s just too bad, because we have to have faith in the magic of a mystical force (unfettered capitalism) which always provides the “best” possible outcome, and must take precedence over all other social factors because, well, that’s what the textbooks published by companies owned by multinational conglomerates say we have to do.

You must be fun at parties.

I don’t care what all the Nimbys say, I oppose this because perfume is nasty. Cologne double so.

If this place is approved while JS and AA got kicked to the curb, that’ll be some bullshit. But I suppose this is what happens when people are so short-sighted that they don’t think beyond Step 1 in their plan to oppose any and all new businesses. An Australian company that makes “high-end perfumes and body products”……gross.

Manufactured fancy stinks are an abomination onto the world.

The Balm is a locally owned brand and this is their first store, right?

Yes they are a local company, BUT they have sold out and are in the Walgreens flagship stores and TJ MAX.
Not to mention, I would not support this company soley based on the fact that the CEO has a reputation of abusing her employees and paying them very low. Also she is fiscally republican and socially democratic.

what crawled up your ass and died, i bet ironically you shop at target or walmart

nope i dont…i’m no where close to either of those places I live in the Mission. Stop being a hater. Really “what crawled up my ass?” How dare you attack like that when no one is personally attacking you. You must have a really boring life outside the cyber world…poor you. Get a real life.

For anybody curious about Aesop they’ve had a “shop in shop” at Unionmade for the past couple of years.

Techie hipsters and hygiene don’t mix, so this is about as welcome as pork sausage in a mosque or synagogue. Fermented funk is the Chanel scent of the season.
My cool upstairs neighbors are drying their laundry and the stench of their funk infused clothes smells like slowly cooking wet dog.

“Techie hipsters” - I hope this is the only time I ever have to read this term. There is nothing hip about a dude who wears his computer company’s t-shirt and neon wayfarers while jogging down Valencia.

Tech workers are there solely for the social media profile picture opportunity.

hipster vs. techie food fight!

I mean, the term has been so grossly misapplied for the last 15+ years to the point of now being tagged to tech workers. If there were ever a time to retire a word from the blog community…

I’m intrigued by this “Makers” thing, though…new, fresh, not used by Ellen to her audience of 50 year old empty-nest mothers…

Fool, I’m 50 and I’ll snap your neck. Belee Dat!!!


I can afford lots of blow and escorts, is that awesome?

Yes. That is a path well chosen.

How can The Balm be a chain when this is their first store?

Reading a post is a great step to take between seeing it and commenting on it.

there goes the neighborhood

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