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In some areas of the country, the arrival of a big chain store is greeted with excitement. In others, it's welcomed with protests. Right now in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood, such a fight is being waged against preppy menswear brand Jack Spade.
The company signed a lease to take over a former bookshop in the Mission but has been stymied by city regulations and vocal citizens. According to our SF site, in 2006 local voters passed a series of tough rules designed to keep out major retailers.
If a store has more than 11 locations and has a recognizable "look," well, good luck getting a lease. Jack Spade has only 10 locations nationwide but is owned by parent company Fifth & Pacific (formerly Liz Claiborne), which also owns Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand. A Stop Jack Spade Commission has been formed; Jack Spade has halted work on the storefront, currently leased for $12,000 per month.
Spade's VP of retail told Mission Local that the brand is simply misunderstood. "I think when people get to know what Jack Spade is about, that we don't belong in places that are more commercial, they'll believe we will be a good fit in the Mission and that we'll respect what goes on there," she said optimistically.
Update: Jack Spade has issued an official statement on the situation. It reads: "We appreciate the outpouring of passion regarding the Mission District and the possibility of the JACK SPADE boutique opening there. It is this passion for the neighborhood that drew our brand to this location in the first place. However, there have been erroneous reports concerning the financial details of our lease agreement in the media and we would like to emphasize that these have been exaggerated. As a company policy, we do not disclose details regarding lease agreements. JACK SPADE hopes to join the community, add color and flavor to it, and offer the men of the Mission District and San Francisco our own take on the uniqueness this neighborhood wants to preserve."
· Mission Neighbors Tell Jack Spade to 'Jack Off' [Racked SF]
· Jack Spade tries to sneak into a beloved Mission spot, triggering a community backlash [SF Bay Guardian]
· Five Things to Know About SF's Formula Retail Policy [Racked]