Clinically approved antibiotics inhibit only a small number of conserved pathways that are essential for bacterial viability, and the physiological effects of inhibiting these pathways have been studied in great detail. Likewise, characterizing the effects of candidate antibiotics that function via novel mechanisms of action is critical for their development, which is of increasing importance due to the ever-growing problem of resistance. The arylomycins are a novel class of natural-product antibiotics that act via the inhibition of type I signal peptidase (SPase), which is an essential enzyme that functions as part of the general secretory pathway and is not the target of any clinically deployed antibiotic. Correspondingly, little is known about the effects of SPase inhibition or how bacteria may respond to mitigate the associated secretion stress. Using genetically sensitized Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus as model organisms, we examine the activity of arylomycin as a function of its concentration, bacterial cell density, target expression levels, and bacterial growth phase. The results reveal that the activity of the arylomycins results from an insufficient flux of proteins through the secretion pathway and the resulting mislocalization of proteins. Interestingly, this has profoundly different effects on E. coli and S. aureus. Finally, we examine the activity of arylomycin in combination with distinct classes of antibiotics and demonstrate that SPase inhibition results in synergistic sensitivity when combined with an aminoglycoside.