The effort to combat Jack Spade continues

Andy writes in to let us know that tomorrow (Wednesday, 8/14) is a big hearing to “call a Spade a Spade: Jack Spade/Kate Spade is one big company”.  He reiterates that he’s in for a public debate that we (Mission Mission) will run if there are any commenters who oppose the actions to block Jack Spade and are willing to publicly stand up for what they believe.

You can follow the story of the opposition here.

The press release after the jump.


Merchants, organizations and neighbors present new evidence suggesting Jack Spade
misrepresented the nature and structure of its company when applying for City permit

Supervisors Campos and Avalos submit letters supporting initial appeal

SAN FRANCISCO — The fight against designer menswear line Jack Spade opening a new store in the Mission District heads to City Hall this Wednesday, August 14th, as a coalition of merchants, community organizations, and neighbors takes their case with new evidence before the Board of Appeals (City Hall, Room 416, 5:00pm).

The Valencia Corridor Merchant’s Association (VCMA), as well as concerned residents and a number of Mission District-based community organizations, including Causa Justa :: Just Cause, PODER, and La Raza Community Resource Center argue that Jack Spade falsely presented itself as a small, independent business in order to avoid the City’s “Formula Retail” regulations, which require businesses with over 11 locations in the U.S. to submit to a public approval process.

The Coalition maintains that Jack Spade is the same company as Kate Spade LLC, both of which share headquarters in New York; distribution software and distribution center in Ohio; IT, HR and legal departments; staff and payroll; and parent company, 5th & Pacific (formerly “Liz Claiborne”). According to 5th & Pacific’s public filings, Jack Spade is considered a sub-brand of Kate Spade, which itself has 94 locations in the U.S.

The Coalition argues that, had Jack Spade been forthcoming about its corporate structure, it would have rightfully triggered a public hearing under the formula retail regulations.

“We need to call a Spade a Spade,” said Eileen Hassi of the VCMA and owner of Ritual Roasters on Valencia Street. “Kate Spade and Jack Spade are not, by any reasonable definition, separate companies and therefore Jack Spade needs to be treated as formula retail. Under the formula retail ordinance, the community gets to have a say in the development of its neighborhoods. We’re asking the Board of Appeals to let our case go forward.”

In July, after months of unsuccessfully trying to engage with Jack Spade to discuss their concerns, the VCMA filed an appeal to have the company’s permit reconsidered. Because the filing occurred after the specified window for appeal had passed, the VCMA must first be granted jurisdiction by the Board of Appeals, which is the subject of Wednesday’s hearing.

The VCMA maintains that local businesses were given insufficient notice of the permit in the first place, and point out that the person in charge of notifying the Mission Merchants Association is a paid consultant of Jack Spade. Because of the extenuating circumstance, they have requested the Board of Appeals to allow the case to move forward.

Since then, the coalition has broadened to include a number of community organizations and concerned residents. Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos have also submitted Letters of Support for the VCMA’s appeal. While the VCMA has pointed out that Jack Spade may serve to push out local businesses by increasing rents in the neighborhood, Mission-based organizations and residents have found common cause in the idea that the community should have a chance to speak out when big business wants in.

The effort to oppose Jack Spade comes as the debate around chain store regulations in San Francisco heats up. Six of San Francisco’s 11 supervisors—including moderates London Breed, Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener—have either introduced successful legislation or proposed ordinances that would bring the controls to new neighborhoods or define more businesses as chain stores, the SF Examiner reported. Meanwhile, the Planning Department has commissioned a city wide study on the effects of formula retail, slated to be published in the fall.

52 Responses to “The effort to combat Jack Spade continues”

  1. hater says:

    “He reiterates that he’s in for a public debate that we (Mission Mission) will run if there are any commenters who oppose the actions to block Jack Spade and are willing to publicly stand up for what they believe.”

    Oh you will!?! And who exactly do you think you are?

  2. are you serious? says:

    Why is it the crazies get all the air time?

    How about something more valiant like getting rid of McDonald’s in the Mission? How about cleaning up the 16th St Plaza? How about dealing with crime? What about the homeless?


    • newtopian says:

      You suck in so many ways

    • snebs21 says:

      Agreed. There is nothing more pretentious than picking and choosing who can buy property and open a business in your neighborhood. That is so much worse than opening a clothing store.

      • troll says:

        Oh no, there is something far more pretentious, and that’s talking down to people on internet message boards but not stepping up to the in-person debate….

        • snebs21 says:

          I would have to acknowledge the validity of their position to engage in a debate with them. If they are irrational, a rational debate would be a waste. Those who oppose things like this are bad people. I cannot fix that.

          • troll says:

            Speaking of irrational, you may want to check your logic, pal….”Those who oppose things like this are bad people.”

  3. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    Nice! I certainly hope the Jack Spade store can be blocked. The last thing the Mission (or, frankly, anywhere) needs is more chainstores.

  4. ok says:

    So once Blue Bottle, Rituals, the gang behind Starbelly, Delarosa, Beretta (see:, Self Edge reach an “unacceptable” level of success, which will be solely determined by Mission Mission readers, we should kick them out, right?

    Have you looked at the history of Jack Spade? Its no different than ANY business and its certainly a level that most of the “indy” vendors strive to become: A SUCCESS. See:

    Enough with the hypocrisy.

  5. scum says:

    They were granted permits, started work on the space so let them continue. The people will decide if they will survive or not.

  6. Andy says:

    Hey internet commenters, let’s take this to the Uptown. I’ll buy your drinks win or lose! Anyone?

  7. LilBeezy says:

    Why y’all hate progress?

  8. flip burgus says:

    what about philz coffee..he must be close to being considered a chain. they even offer philz on virgin america.

    bet most yuppie douches don’t even know about the 24th st location, because they never go farther than wise sons deli.

  9. flip burgus says:

    so just because phil built his empire in the mission, he gets a pass.

    again do you have any idea the amount of money behind the other so called local independent shops and restaurants…get real. where do you think trust funds come from…cooperate america!

  10. ed lee says:

    Give it up already.
    The Mission is dead. It’s over, the artists have moved away. The punks O.D.ed and died (or had families). The Latin community has been cornered into small apartment complexes or moved to Richmond(the city).
    Jack Spade?!!
    Where the fuck has everyone been?! Wake up and smell the high class coffee.
    Don’t forget to vote for me!

  11. grant says:

    I don’t get why this is a big deal. Can someone explain to me why we can’t let chain stores into San Francisco? If you don’t want to shop there then don’t shop there. Seems like the small business owners are just afraid of the competition that this would bring.

    • SF Elitism says:

      San Francisco is creating high property value neighborhoods for the “elite”. Expensive, independent boutiques, cafes, and restaurants add to the “unique” experience. Hayes Valley, Upper Fillmore, etc etc are very successful models. Valencia Street is just the latest example.

      Chain stores are better located in Emeryville or Daly City.

      • Gavin Nubisome says:

        Upper Fillmore is not a success! Gap, Starbucks and several other mega chains set up stores under different names so they could get onto Fillmore. Ralph Lauren said it would contribute to the community, but nothing has been done.

        Soon all of SF will be like a malls you see in San Jose, Fresno or Sparka Nevada where weenie Karl Rove was reared.

        Why does Kate spade need more stores in sf when they already have two and are in all the other big department stores?

        • snebs21 says:

          Using the government to promote one business over another is fascism. If you think it is the outspoken neighbors who petition against rightful property owners who are keeping SF interesting, you are wrong.

          Everyone wants success. Why pretend you have any right to dictate the terms?

          • troll says:

            Oh yeah? Let me guess- that’s fascism, but giving oil companies tax breaks/credits is cool by you, yes?

        • one says:

          Because a hip location makes the product so much more hip, and customers can stay in their comfort zone in Union Square or wherever it is.

  12. flip burgus says:

    WOW thanks for info CREAM. i just read about the VC money philz got.

    not a surprise, phil is a smart guy and charming. he always says hello and often brings brings my daughter a free cookie but …his plans for world domination are no secret when you talk to him. is he a bad guy for wanting to expand his business??? hell no.

    mission bikes and ritual roasters etc. etc. all they want is the status quo…they want to keep making money hand over fist. simply put they fear competition.

    • snebs21 says:

      Yes. I think a lot of this is protectionism. Of course restaurant A wants to block restaurant B. Being better than restaurant B is too difficult.

    • one says:

      I tend to think of Philz as a jobs program for people with unfortunate tattoos.

  13. mark says:

    Jack Spade is just plain stupid because they would sell more of their boring ass clothes to bridge and tunnel shoppers in Union Square than they will on 16th St. Oh and no one is going to throw a brick through their window if they were in Union Square.

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