Speed Reads

if you're going to san francisco

San Francisco bookstore closes because of $15 minimum wage law

A bookstore in San Francisco's Valencia Street shopping district has announced it's closing its doors, and the owners' farewell note names the city's $15 minimum wage as the main culprit in the store's demise.

Borderland Books, which specializes in fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and horror books, stuck it out through rent increases, online commerce competition, and the recession. But San Francisco's plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next three years has proved to be too much:

Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principal [sic] and we believe that it's possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage.  Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st. [...]

The change in minimum wage will mean our payroll will increase roughly 39%.  That increase will in turn bring up our total operating expenses by 18%.  To make up for that expense, we would need to increase our sales by a minimum of 20%.  We do not believe that is a realistic possibility for a bookstore in San Francisco at this time. [Borderland Books]

Opponents of minimum wage hikes have long argued that the laws price employers and low-skill workers out of business.