San Francisco’s Jeffrey’s Toys, the city’s oldest toy store and the inspiration for the Toy Story franchise, is permanently closing.
Jeffrey’s Toys said Friday it will be closing at the end of February. The city’s crime and violence was cited as a significant factor in the decision to shutter the 86-year-old business.
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“The store has been struggling for a number of years, due to the perils and violence of the downtown environment, inflation, the decrease in consumer spending and the demise of retail across the world,” attorney Ken Sterling told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The family is saddened it has come to this and we’ve explored all other options to try and keep the business going,” Sterling said.
Founders Morton and Birdie Luhn began exclusively selling toys after World War II, according to the shop’s website.
The store eventually transferred to their grandson Mark Luhn, whose son and current coowner Matthew Luhn had worked for Pixar as a story artist and writer in the mid-1990s.
“During ‘Toy Story,’ we would have my dad come to give us ideas,” Matthew Luhn told SFGate in Dec. 2023. “And when we did reference for almost all the ‘Toy Story’ films, we always went to Jeffrey’s Toys. My dad just closed up the store and said, ‘Just play, have fun and let me know if you need anything.’”
Sterling blamed “the leadership of the City of San Francisco and the Downtown Association” for letting crime run wild in the “once vibrant and fun downtown experience.”
San Francisco has seen a long list of retailers close in the last few years.
Whole Foods, Old Navy, Saks Off 5th, Office Depot, Athleta, Abercrombie & Fitch, Disney, Marshall’s, H&M, and Gap are among the closures.
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