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.
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.