Yet another Internet retailer is heading to Hayes Valley.
What is happening: Online beverage marketplace Beverage — which sells non-alcoholic spirits, wine, mixed drinks and more — is set to open a storefront on Hayes Street by the end of this month, the San Francisco Business Journal reported Monday.
- Launching in 2021, the new store will be the company’s first in San Francisco, though it already has five locations in New York and one in Los Angeles (with two more on the way).
- Earlier this year, Boisson (pronounced “bway-sohn”) raised $12 million in venture funding.
Why is this important: The new arrival adds to the growing list of direct-to-consumer businesses that have opened storefronts in Hayes Valley — a neighborhood that, along with North Beach and Chinatown, has the strictest rules against chain stores, aka “formula retail”, moving into .
- In Hayes Valley, retailers with 11 or more locations worldwide are banned in an effort to “maintain the individuality of the neighborhood,” according to the city’s planning department.
Yes, but: Although not considered “mom-and-pop shops,” under current retail rules, venture capital-backed, direct-to-consumer brands can still open in Hayes Valley if they have less than 11 stores.
- Warby Parker, now publicly listed, opened its Hayes Street store in November 2014. At the time, it was the eyewear company’s eighth physical store. Currently, it has over 150 stores, spanning the country from Arizona to Kansas to Rhode Island.
- Allbirds opened its eleventh store in Hayes Valley in 2019. Today, the wool shoe brand has 52 storefronts and plans to have 57 by the end of the year, its head of retail told Axios. communication Lee Price.
There’s also Parachute, the linen company that opened its fifth location on Hayes Street in 2018. It now has 20 stores.
- To note : Parachute competitor Brooklinen — which claims to be “the internet’s favorite leaf” and has raised some $60 million, according to Crunchbase — moved into the neighborhood earlier this summer. This company has six locations, but by the end of 2024 it plans to have 30, Bloomberg reported.
Be smart: A company that expands beyond 11 locations can keep its storefronts in San Francisco neighborhoods like Hayes Valley, city planning department chief of staff Dan Sider told Axios.
- But, beyond the formula’s retail threshold, a business would be considered “non-compliant” and therefore not allowed to expand its existing location, he said.
What they say : Supervisor Dean Preston, whose district includes Hayes Valley, told Axios in a statement that he believed it was “deeply concerning that large companies are finding ways to circumvent our formula retail laws.”
- “My office has heard from a number of small business owners concerned about this phenomenon, and I have been working with our city attorney to find ways to tighten our restrictions so that we can keep the mom-and- pop that has come to define this neighborhood shopping destination,” Preston said.