Flagship REI In Portland Announces Impending Closure, Citing ‘Crime’ And ‘Safety’ Issues

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Peter Khawand Contributor
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REI announced on Monday that it will close its flagship store in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon, due to increasing crime and concern for employee safety per local outlets.

In a statement released to members, the company said that the “safety of our employees, members and customers is always our number one priority,” reported local outlet KPTV.

“In recent years, Portland has been dealing with increased crime in our neighborhood and beyond,” the statement continued. “Last year, REI Portland had its highest number of break-ins and theft in two decades, despite actions to provide extra security.”

REI said the store would officially close in early 2024 when the lease expired, according to KATU.

REI is the latest in a series of companies leaving Portland, often citing safety and criminal concerns. Earlier this year, a Nike store in Portland temporarily closed. “The safety of our employees and consumers is a responsibility Nike takes very seriously,” the company said in a statement to Business Insider.

In March, Walmart announced the closure of its final two Portland locations, according to National Review. “Theft is an issue, it’s higher than what it has historically been,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillion noted.

Starbucks also announced in 2022 that it would be closing at least 16 stores across the country, including two locations in Portland, noting that employees “don’t first feel safe at work” due to crime and drug use. (RELATED: Starbucks Is Closing 16 Stores Amid Crime And Drugs Use Concerns)

In 2022, just two percent of the theft that was reported to the Portland Police Bureau was forwarded to prosecutors, according to The Oregonian.