[Another Believer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Major Retailers Abandoning Leftwing Portland

Portland, Oregon, should be the perfect place for REI to set up shop. One of the biggest outdoor recreation retailers in the country, you would expect them to turn a profit selling all gear you need to explore the countless hiking trails and lakes throughout the area. But, one should never discount the destructive nature of leftwing policies. 

The store in Portland has struggled to stay open as crime has skyrocketed over the past decade under total leftwing control of all local authorities. For example, last November, “a car crashed through the glass front doors of REI in Portland’s Pearl District on Black Friday, the store’s third break-in in a single week and the latest in a string of smash-and-grabs at local stores this month.

The number of burglaries, robberies, vehicle thefts and vandalism are at their highest in Portland since 2019 according to Portland Police Bureau data from the first 10 months of the year. Reported burglaries during that time period have jumped from 3,508 in 2019 to 4,868 in 2022. And between January and October 2022, Portlanders have reported 1,181 robberies, 9,212 vehicle thefts and 9,971 incidents of vandalism, compared with 818 robberies, 5,414 vehicle thefts and 5,151 incidents of vandalism during that time period in 2019.

Meanwhile, police are referring just a fraction of reported crimes to Multnomah County prosecutors, according to data released this month by District Attorney Mike Schmidt.

Citing the rising thefts, REI has announced the closure of its Portland store after investing $800,000 in security failed to make things better. 

Fox Business has the details: “The safety of our employees, members and customers is always our number one priority,” spokesperson Megan Behrbaum said. “Last year, REI Portland had its highest number of break-ins and thefts in two decades, despite our actions and investment to provide extra security.”

Behrbaum said the company informed their co-op and more than 150 employees at the store in Portland’s Pearl District on Monday that it plans to close the location when their lease expires in February 2024. She emphasized that the decision “does not reflect the hard work and dedication of our Portland team, nor the overall health of the co-op.”

The spokesperson went on to explain that the store has also “outgrown” the current space it has occupied since 2004 and that the company wasn’t able to reach an agreement with its landlord regarding investments necessary to provide their desired level of customer service and employee experience.

“These issues led to the decision to close the store when our lease is up in early 2024. Until that time, we look forward to continuing to serve the outdoor community,” Behrbaum said. The closest REI stores outside Portland are located in Tualatin and Hillsboro, both 12 miles away.

REI isn’t the only big retailer that has given up on Portland and its nutty liberal governance. Wal-Mart announced in March that it too would be shutting down all of its stores in Portland. 

“Last month, Nike asked city officials for permission to post off-duty police officers at Portland-based stores with the authority to arrest shoplifters, The New York Post reported.

One of Nike’s stores in Northeast Portland has reportedly been mostly closed for months due to a rise of theft incidents.”

The people of Portland seem to be getting what they vote for, good and hard.  

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