Horton Plaza Announcement

 

Horton Plaza Store Hours 9 AM – 6 PM Daily


September 16, 2020

Dear Jimbo’s Customers,

Due to the on-going construction and obstacles that continue to make shopping a challenge at our Horton Plaza location, it is with great sadness to announce that we will temporarily be closing the Jimbo’s Horton Plaza location — at least until the new owners, Stockdale, go back to operating Horton Plaza as a retail center. Our hope is that sometime in the future we will be able to reopen and once again serve the downtown community.

As we make this transition, we are excited to offer you:

40% OFF Everything

(Senior discount does not apply. All sales final, no returns.)

We appreciate your support and understanding,

Jimbo’s Management


 

September 4, 2020

To all Jimbo’s Horton Plaza Customers,

Nearly 7 years ago, in October of 2013 amidst much fanfare, we proudly opened up Jimbo’s at Horton Plaza. At the opening, we had a number of local politicians and several well-known downtown residents attend including the Mayor (interim) at the time, Todd Gloria. We opened our store with much anticipation believing that we were going to be fulfilling a hole in the downtown grocery world by selling high quality organic and natural foods. And, our customers were extremely excited to have us fill that gap!

As part of our negotiation with Westfield (the owner of Horton Plaza at the time), we were told that Horton Plaza was going to be going through a renovation, and at the end of the day, Jimbo’s was going to be the center piece of the end result. Well, sometimes things don’t turn out exactly the way you envision. Westfield struggled to put together a plan to move forward while eventually losing/terminating leases in expectation of doing the renovation. This led to an ongoing downturn of the mall, both in appearance and business, and even more so when Nordstrom decided to close in 2016.

Eventually Westfield sold Horton Plaza to the new owners, Stockdale, in August of 2018. I was hopeful that the new landlord would begin to make inroads in both improving the appearance and renovating Horton Plaza. Well, they certainly did not improve the appearance of the mall, but continued to let it fall in disarray. And in regards to the renovation, I admittedly was concerned (based on discussions I had with them) that they would move forward with their plans no matter what the outcome for Jimbo’s was going to be; I said so at a City Council hearing in May of 2019. I want to emphasize this so as to be perfectly clear that what I said and what I still believe: I AM NOT OPPOSED TO THE RENOVATION OF HORTON PLAZA! On the contrary, I am all for it. However, I was concerned and expressed that in the process of renovating Horton Plaza that Jimbo’s would be an afterthought and that the Landlord would make it extremely difficult for Jimbo’s to survive.

Indeed that has unfortunately come to pass. I am sure that you are well aware that much of the access to Horton Plaza and to our store has now been blocked off. As of today, we are down to the only way to get into Jimbo’s is through a makeshift entrance on 1st Avenue. Virtually all our Jimbo’s signage is covered and/or cannot be seen. Our entrance on level 1 has been shut down for a month, and now our main entrance on level 2 is also shut down. The only way to get to the 1st Avenue entrance if you park in the garage is by walking about 5-7 minutes through the parking garage and down 1st Avenue (though the landlord has offered “golf cart” transportation if you are so inclined, and if you are not concerned about social distancing or the time you have to wait before the golf cart is available). If you are a disabled customer, I’m not sure how you are able to manage to get into the store and back to your car.
Additionally, the Landlord has removed all of our outdoor seating (they have given us additional indoor seating which is non-usable due to COVID, and we already have our own indoor seating that we don’t use). In my eyes, the shopping center has been in disrepair for many years. On a regular basis, one or more of the following is broken down: the escalator, the elevator, and/or the cartilator (escalator that moves shopping carts up to parking garage level). The common area is and will be a construction zone through 2022, not a first class shopping experience.

Over the past few days with the now limited access to the store, a number of customers have already told us that they have been extremely taken aback by the entire shopping experience relative to getting to the store from the parking garage and back to their car. One went so far as to say that it was so disgusting that not only would they not shop at Jimbo’s Horton Plaza, but they would not come back to any of the Jimbo’s stores. Unfortunately, even though we have no control over this situation, we do acknowledge that this is nowhere near what we would want any Jimbo’s customer to experience when they come to shop any Jimbo’s. It is heartbreaking for us and a far cry from the excitement we had when we first opened our store. And though our hands are tied, it is hard to stomach knowing how this is giving Jimbo’s such a negative image.

For many years, we (our staff members and customers) have had to endure homeless issues, graffiti, lack of security, and a general run-down shopping center. This has been unfortunate for both Jimbo’s and the downtown community. During this time, Jimbo’s sales have suffered dramatically, however even more so in the last few months when the Landlord fenced Horton Plaza. And while all this was going on, I held out hope that if we can just make it to the next day that it was going to get better. I just needed to hold on. I owed this to our loyal staff members, to our loyal customers, and to the downtown community.

But, the day has come that the sacrifices we are making to keep our store open just don’t make sense anymore. We have been fortunate that during the pandemic that all of our other stores have had significant increases in their sales to perhaps justify keeping the Horton Plaza store open, in spite of the increasing losses that Horton Plaza is suffering, so as to keep Horton Plaza doors open another day. But, I am not sure that I see the light at the end of the tunnel right now—we have no front door, we have no secondary door, we have limited signage, we have no outdoor seating, and we have a construction zone for a common area.

Therefore, it is with great sadness that I announce that we will be closing Jimbo’s—-at least until Stockdale goes back to operating Horton Plaza as a retail center. My hope is that sometime in the future we will be able to reopen, but we have to get through some legal issues first. I do want all of you to know how much I appreciate your support as you have continued to support us despite the many obstacles that have made it challenging for you to shop through the years (and of course now with the addition of the coronavirus). You have made it worthwhile to be able to serve you and I hope that we will be able to do so again.

I would be remiss if I did not express my gratitude to our dedicated staff members, many of whom have been with Jimbo’s for many years. They have been on the front lines dealing with the many issues that have become obstacles for us to succeed and have done an incredibly admirable job of persevering. There have been times where I felt it has only been their desire to continue to serve the downtown area that was keeping me from closing the store earlier. We at Jimbo’s have been extremely fortunate to have the Horton Plaza staff members that we do and have offered all of them the opportunity to continue to work for Jimbo’s at one of our other locations. And, I am glad most of them have accepted to do so as we move forward and close down this location.

I do hope that Stockdale is able to create the downtown hub that is so desperately needed to create the excitement, energy and economic value that the downtown San Diego community so richly deserves—irrespective of whether or not we are a part of it. Again, I cannot express my gratefulness to all of you for your support. It has been an unbelievable ride and I feel fortunate that we have been able to contribute to the very fabric of downtown San Diego!

With sadness, but with much gratitude,

Jimbo