Liberal City Loses Major Retailer as Company Pulls All Stores from the Area
Walmart is pulling out of Portland, Oregon, as retail crime spikes in the city.
The chain’s two stores will close March 24, according to The Oregonian.
“There is no single cause for why a store closes – we do a thorough review of how a store performs and weigh many factors before making the difficult decision to close a facility,” Lauren Willis, a Walmart representative, said.
Walmart has announced it will permanently close all its locations in Portland, Ore. Nearly 600 will lose their jobs. The closures follow the consequences of the 2020 BLM-Antifa riots that helped justify & normalize urban criminality & retail theft. https://t.co/LKx5FP1p1q
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) March 3, 2023
Willis said none of Walmart’s other stores in Oregon will be closing.
The decision means 580 workers will lose their jobs, according to The Oregonian.
Fox Business noted that the closures come after Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said retail theft could play a factor in keeping or closing stores.
“Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been,” McMillon told CNBC in a December interview, adding that “prices will be higher and/or stores will close” if theft is not curbed.
Reuters noted that Walmart closed its technology hub in Portland, making it one of three hubs in the nation being shuttered. The company also closed its technology offices and relocated staff from Austin, Texas, and Carlsbad, California, Reuters reported.
Although Walmart did not cite crime, there is no doubt crime is hurting the city’s business environment.
In December, Fox News carried a report about the subject, including a Portland clothing store called Rains PDX that left a note on the shop door after it closed. making the reason for its demise clear.
Fox 12 Oregon spoke with #Portland Walmart shoppers devastated that its stores will shut down. They must now go to more expensive grocery stores or drive further. Shoppers speculate that mass theft was behind Walmart’s decision to close in Portland. https://t.co/xHyRKkhaOy pic.twitter.com/7kx8uS0wPe
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) March 4, 2023
“Our city is in peril. Small businesses (and large) cannot sustain doing business, in our city’s current state. We have no protection, or recourse, against the criminal behavior that goes unpunished,” the note said.
“Do not be fooled into thinking that insurance companies cover losses. We have sustained 15 break-ins … we have not received any financial reimbursement since the 3rd,” the note said.
The store was not alone.
Walmart and Nike being forced out of Portland due to high theft and no help from the local Police. When will people acknowledge the defund Police movement is hurting people and businesses in Democrat run cities? https://t.co/KzNEe9TDXE
— Laura Hromanik 🇺🇸 (@HromanikLaura) March 4, 2023
Last week, KPTV-TV in Portland reported, Mayor Ted Wheeler turned down a request from Nike to make off-duty Portland police officers available to provide security at a Nike store in northeast Portland that was closed last year.
All Portland Walmart stores to permanently close in late March
Story: https://t.co/eeYnnS751h pic.twitter.com/dTS1Y0pcfl
— FOX 12 Oregon (@fox12oregon) March 2, 2023
Under the proposal, Nike would have paid the officers — who would have the power to arrest shoplifters — but Wheeler said the department is too understaffed.
According to Newsweek, Wheeler’s director of community safety wrote in an email to the city’s economic development director that Portland needs even its off-duty police to be available for the city’s safety.
“We already rely heavily on OT [overtime] to reach minimum staffing levels for regular shifts, so there is no way we could provide dedicated officers to any business, regardless of its willingness to pay for the costs,” she wrote.
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