Nike has its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, less than eight miles from Portland.
But the complete collapse of Democrat-controlled Portland into total anarchy has been well documented.
Now Portland just chased away Nike’s premier retail outlet for an all too predictable reason.
The negative headlines are everywhere.
This spring, a rash of smash-and-grab robberies occurred in cars parked in a Portland neighborhood.
The smashed glass spread as far as the frustration.
Mere weeks later, $10,000 in gear was stolen from a fire vehicle.
This is all occurring as homeless encampments spring up everywhere, even with a city ban on tents pitched during the day.
Crime and lawlessness are rampant, trash is everywhere, and businesses are fleeing.
Local TV station KGW-8 described the city’s center as resembling that of a dead mall.
Another one bites the dust in crime-infested Portland
Against this backdrop, another iconic retailer is balking at placing their bets on the City of Roses.
Nike had originally planned to reopen one of their factory stores in the city, but has abandoned those plans for understandable concerns, citing issues involving “theft and safety.”
The company contacted the Soul District Business Association (SBDA) late last week and informed them of the decision.
Locals expressed disappointment, though given the stated reasons for the initial closure, it couldn’t have come as much of a surprise.
John Washington, SDBA’s executive director said, “This news has landed like a lead balloon in our district. We had all been holding our breath since last November when the store quietly shuttered its doors due to internal and external theft and safety issues. But, like so many of us riding out the fallout of the pandemic and protests, we held out hope that Nike, city officials and community leaders would recalibrate and realign order. But it looks like it’s game over.”
The company made what some saw as a good faith effort to salvage the store.
Nike even hired off-duty Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers to serve as a security force, but because of defunding efforts and attrition, the bureau could not meet the company’s requests.
Nike tried to put a positive spin in the news, saying in a statement, “Nike’s commitment to supporting and uplifting Portland’s North and Northeast community is unwavering. We are reimagining Nike’s retail space, permanently closing our current location at 2650 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and considering future locations as part of this community’s long term revitalization plan. True to our roots, we will seek the input of local community organizations and leaders to determine the best new location. As we plan ahead, we are keeping the best interest of our employees at heart, providing them options to continue to be part of the Nike family.”
When and where any new store would be sited is still an open question.
Willamette Week reports that the closed Nike store in Northeast Portland reported 276 instances of shoplifting last year.
Nike founder Phil Knight has donated over $400 million in donations to non-profit, minority-led foundations across the Portland area.