REI to close sole retail store in Portland due to rampant theft
By Ethan Huff // Apr 19, 2023

Despite ongoing efforts to provide extra security, the one and only REI outdoor goods store location in Portland is closing down due to rampant theft, reports indicate.

Citing the "highest number of break-ins and thefts in two decades," the Portland location of REI, located in the Pearl District, will close its doors in the coming days. An email to its members – REI is a cooperative, member-owned company – explains that "crime and theft" are preventing the location from continuing to remain open.

According to Oregon Live, REI's Portland location has been open for almost 20 years. It moved to its current spot in 2004 from its original location in Jantzen Beach, which first opened in 1976.

An REI spokesperson clarified that the company still has locations that will remain open in nearby Tualatin, Hillsboro and Clackamas.

"While we do not believe a downtown Portland location will be possible in the near term, our stores in Tualatin, Hillsboro and Clackamas remain open and ready to outfit you with the gear and advice you need to enjoy life outside," the spokesperson said.

(Related: In 2020 while Donald Trump was still president, the Department of Justice [DOJ] dubbed Seattle and Portland as anarchy zones due to rampant crime and lawlessness.)

REI, Walmart, Cracker Barrel and Nike all see Portland as a no-go for doing business

Problems at REI's Portland location really started to escalate last fall when it was reported that a string of break-ins had occurred in just a single week. The third of those occurred on Black Friday when a car smashed through the glass front doors in an apparent "smash and grab" robbery attempt.

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Thankfully, nobody was inside the store at the time, so there were no injuries. However, the retailer had to close its doors that day, one of the busiest of the year, and instead allow its employees to "Opt Outside," to quote one of the company's marketing slogans.

The closing of the REI Portland store follows a spate of other closures announced by Walmart and Cracker Barrel, both of which have also closed all of their remaining Portland locations.

Nike, which is based out of Oregon, is also having trouble continuing to do business in Portland. The company back in February sent a letter to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler asking for more protection at its MLK Community Store, which Nike chief security officer Joe Marsico said had to be closed at the time "in response to deteriorating public safety conditions and rapid escalation in retail theft."

In an attempt to deal with all this rampant theft and other crimes, Oregon legislators have proposed two new bills in the Senate, 318 and 340, that would help to crack down on Portland's crime problem.

As for REI's Portland location, it will remain open until early 2024 when its lease expires. At that time, it will become another vacant location in Portland fast-deteriorating and collapsing downtown district, which has become a giant homeless camp filled with litter, drug needles, and crime.

"This is intentional market deflation," wrote one suspicious commenter about why these formerly nice cities are being allowed to collapse into chaos and anarchy.

"Let's create riots and chaos and tank the markets. Major builders and the politicians they 'donate to' go in and scoop up properties at deflated prices when they hit rock bottom and build the mega communities that are for rent only. You will own nothing and be happy."

Another wrote that Antifa, which seems to appear often in Portland and other left-leaning cities to cause chaos and destruction, is a Marxist-funded group that is paid to wreak havoc in certain target areas of the country.

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