No Chainz

Avoiding Another Formula Retail Showdown, Aesop Backs Out of Valencia Street Location

When it came to light in December that Aesop, an Australian luxury cosmetics chain, was moving into 20th and Valencia, it seemed all-but-certain that there would be another Jack Spade-level anti-chain protest against it.  And as predicted, the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association—the same group that successfully defeated Jack Spade’s Mission expansion—emailed Aesop the next day expressing their concern.

Over the next two and a half months, the VCMA struggled to have a dialogue with the retailer, but nevertheless formed a task force to strategize an opposition campaign.  However last week, while attempting to contact Aesop again, Jefferson McCarley was able to reach a spokesperson for the company, who acknowledged the company was abandoning their forthcoming Valencia Street location next to the newly opened Chrome Store.

Jefferson writes us over email:

Aesop confirmed with me that they have decided not to open a store on Valencia.  The head of public relations said that they have decided to support our efforts.

So you can imagine how thrilled we are that Aesop has decided to support us.

This means we won’t have to host fundraisers, make posters, walk door-to-door to speak to merchants on our mile-long street, spend long nights at City Hall, pay huge filing fees, write multiple 12 page briefs, solicit letters of support, reach out to politicians, and spend every other Tuesday night in a conference room, after a a long hard day of work.

We can get to go back to the work that we prefer to do:

  • Working with the SFMTA on bringing bikeshare to Valencia
  • Helping to bring a cool new music festival to Valencia
  • Helping to bring the Cinco de Mayo festival to Valencia
  • Keeping the street vibrant during the day (by minimizing retail conversions to restaurants)
  • Organizing a sidewalk sale
  • Developing new resources and a sense of community for Valencia corridor merchants.

Oh yeah. And running our own businesses.

956 Valencia St. is now available for lease to a local independent small business.

Comments (18)

Get over yourself Jefferson. I hope your business does well and is prevented from operating in desirable locations.

Careful what you wish for, douche.

Oh look, the Internet Contrarians are here already.

Dude sell $$$ bikes. He can blow me.

I hope you bring enough buttplugs for everyone!

I always have extras!

Yeah, blow me, too. Cinco de Mayo celebrations? Could you mock your neighbors any more??

You realize the VCMA is made up of more than just Jefferson? He just has the unpleasant duty of speaking for the org and being the recipient of ignorant rage from idiot commenters like yourself.

Yes, hopefully his business of selling $1000++ bikes to techies will do well so he doesn’t have to go back to his marketing job at the Gap.

While there’s no chance of something interesting, and affordable, taking its place, it’s still nice that this store was blocked.  I look forward to the artisinal jelly belly store sure to come

As a show of good faith, could Aesop donate the storefront to an eviction awareness project? Or donate it to be used as a space for disseminating information about how to fight for your rights, if you are a long time SF resident?  

Right now, Aesop has left a very bad taste in my mouth. I understand that they will not be opening a business in that space after all, but it would be great if they decided to purchase the space anyway and donate it.  Then I might reconsider my assessment of them.

Hook me up with whatever it is you’re on, cause you’re making other people of color (like myself) look like a moron.

To add, I don’t need a fucking handout from some Australian company, and neither do my causes.

Could your handle be any more pretentious?

There’s already an eviction awareness storefront. It’s where Abandoned Planet bookstore was… before it was evicted by the people who put in the anti-evictions storefront. 

Do the first bullet point! Do the first bullet point! 

The more I think about it the more it gets my blood boiling. This guy is a real asshole. I fucking hope a better bike store opens up in that space. 

Fuck you Jefferson, you self-serving piece of shit.

Someone really likes corporate formula retail!

Nice! Excellent news!