Alerts & Newsletters

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA Enterprise and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

REI Is the Latest Retailer to Close Its Portland Store Amid Rising Crime

REI, store, NYC
Outside REI's flagship store in New York City as seen on Jan. 25, 2022.
Getty Images

After 20 years of business, REI confirmed it will close its downtown Portland, Ore., location in early 2024 amid increased crime in the store’s Pearl District neighborhood.

In a statement emailed to FN on Tuesday, an REI Co-op representative confirmed the closure and stated that the decision “does not reflect the hard work and dedication of our Portland team, nor the overall health of the co-op.”

“The safety of our employees, members and customers is always our number one priority,” the statement sent to FN 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.

“In addition, we have outgrown our current space and the building requires significant investment to address issues that we have been unable to reach agreement on with the landlord,” the statement added. “As a result, we are not able to provide the level of customer and employee experience we strive for at REI.”

The company noted that customers could visit its other area stores in Tualatin (12 miles away), Hillsboro (12 miles away) and Clackamas (15 miles away) while it works on a “long-term regional solution.”

The outdoor retailer is the latest to wind down its business in Portland amid waves of crime.

In March, Walmart confirmed it would close the last two of its stores in Portland by March 24. Walmart’s U.S. communications director said these stores, located at Hayden Meadows and East Port Plaza, were underperforming and did not confirm if the closures were a result of increased retail crime in the city.

A Nike Community Store in Northeast Portland was also reportedly impacted by waves of crime in the region, which likely prompted the closure of the store for weeks, between October and November, KGW8 reported.

In February, Nike asked Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to station off-duty police officers as a security measure for the store, The Oregonian reported. Wheeler declined, though outlined a plan to introduce increased safety measures in the area and asked Nike and other retailers to step up their own security measures.

In recent weeks, Portland police have heightened efforts to crack down on organized retail theft via specifically targeted operations in areas of high theft.

Outside of Portland, retail theft is plaguing other industry players. Last week, the National Retail Federation (NRF) released a new report with K2 Integrity, a global risk advisory firm, offering a detailed assessment of U.S.-based organized retail crime groups, their tactics and techniques for theft and resale, and their linkages with other types of organized crime.

According to the report, organized retail crime groups largely target everyday consumer goods — which offer a favorable balance between ease of theft, monetary value and ease of resale. Only 11 percent of the organized retail crime groups examined in the report targeted luxury goods, the report said. What’s more, the NRF found that the median organized retail crime fencing operation handled about $250,000 in stolen merchandise prior to being apprehended by law enforcement.

“Criminal groups have become more brazen and violent in their tactics and are using new channels to resell stolen goods,” Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF said in a statement at the time of the report’s release. “NRF and its members have been forcefully advocating for the ‘Combating Organized Retail Crime Act’ in Congress because it’s time for decisive action, not just platitudes and endless debate.”

Daily Headlines

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA Enterprise and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

REI to Close Downtown Portland Store Amid Rising Retail Crime
Get the Latest Issue
Only $24.99 for one year!
PMC Logo
Footwear News is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 Fairchild Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. FN and Footwear News are registered trademarks of Fairchild Publishing, LLC.