Local Retail Industry

According to the California Employment Development Department, the retail industry ranks as the third largest industry cluster in the San Francisco Bay Area Region.

The San Francisco retail market continually benefits from the success of the thriving local tourist and hospitality industry as well as the demand for retail services as the population becomes increasingly employed and earn higher wages.

Retail Submarkets

Retail includes a variety of different types of businesses, including those that sell food, durable goods (i.e. furniture store, car dealership), soft goods (i.e. clothing boutiques, shoe stores) and arts (i.e. bookstore, gift shop). OEWD partners with various organizations to support and highlight retail businesses:

Formula Retail

Formula retailers are establishments with multiple locations and standardized features or a recognizable appearance. These uses are commonly referred to as "chain stores" and are regulated by the San Francisco Planning Code. To maintain the character and purpose of distinct areas in San Francisco, the City's geography has been divided into distinct zoning use districts.

For a broader understanding of regulations for Formula Retail businesses in San Francisco, please visit the Planning Department’s site.