Nike shuts down its longtime factory store after spate of thefts
Nike has shuttered a community store in its home city of Portland after it was plagued by shoplifting in the crime-ridden woke city. The sportwear giant confirmed it will not reopen the store in Northeast Portland in a statement issued earlier this month, almost a year after a ‘temporary’ closure was announced. Nike, famed for its social justice activism, wrote to Portland’s outgoing Mayor Ted Wheeler in January warning him that the shop had shuttered due to ‘deteriorating public safety conditions and rapid escalation in retail theft.’
The firm offered to pay off-duty Portland cops to provide security – but Rose City officials were unable to spare enough staff from its notoriously short-staffed police department to help. Nike’s deadline of May 1 was missed – and the store was doomed, KGW reported. Wheeler – who was been slammed for his failure to tackle crime in the city – said he was ‘very disappointed’ by the store’s closure. The Nike community store had been a fixture in Northeast Portland since 1984 – it was Nike’s first ever factory store.
It proved such a hit that it moved to bigger premises in 2000, with other community stores since opening across the United States. Nike’s decision to close the shop deals another huge blow to Portland, whose crime and drug-ridden downtown has lost multiple huge retailers including REI. Portland also lost its only two Walmart stores last year.
The George Floyd protests against racist injustice also sparked a surge in crimes like looting, arson and vandalism. The persistent theft that followed created serious problems for the Nike community store Nike employees admitted that they were prohibited from physically stopping shoplifters in the act so confident thieves had no worries as they exited the shop fearlessly with armloads of shoes and clothes. Portland has one of the worst crime rates in America, with over 63,000 property thefts littering the city over the last year, per official police statistics.
In 2020, Portland became one of the first regions in America to fall foul of the ‘defund the police’ movement, slashing $15 million from its budget. The move led Mayor Wheeler to issue a desperate plea to renew the department’s funding after it led to a disastrous crime spike. But two years on, with rampant crime continuing to rip apart the city including a surge in homelessness and serious offenses including homicides and robberies, officials are again attempting to stop the bleeding.
The twin task forces are expected to be bolstered by the introduction of new deputy DAs and investigators, who are reportedly tasked with building and prosecuting cases, according to Oregon Live . However, Portland residents have slammed officials for their lack of effort to prosecute criminals in recent years. Portland lost $1 billion in income over a 12-month period between 2020 and 2021 in the wake of soaring crime, rampant homelessness and rioting following the death of George Floyd, data from the Internal Revenue Service showed.
Shocking figures also show that conditions in the city are far from improving, with fentanyl deaths increasing by more than 200 percent since 2020 Homelessness is also up 50 percent since 2019, while in 2020 and 2022, Portland broke its own homicide record. Fed-up Portland residents have dealt with waking up to find tents on their lawns and seeing drug dealers on every corner as homelessness surges out of control in Oregon’s largest city. This follows news that Democrat lawmakers in Oregon want to decriminalize homeless camps with a law that would allow the people who live in them to sue for $1,000 if they’re harassed or told to leave.
The hugely-controversial bill claims ‘decriminalization of rest’ would allow city leaders to ‘redirect’ cash from law enforcement into measures that ‘address the root causes of homelessness and poverty’. Portland saw some of wildest riots in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death – and then again on the anniversary – and things haven’t calmed down since. Law-makers in the progressive city have been grappling with the homelessness crisis as Portland continues to lose businesses and locals because ‘every citizen is sick and damn tired of the growing homeless problem,’ an angry Portland business owner posted on social media. ‘Portland used to be clean and safe and a place we were proud to call home. Now, people are moving the [expletive] out.’
Residents of the city of 641,000 people have told DailyMail.com that they’re sick of tents being erected on sidewalks, grassy areas and beside canals. Officials have started tearing down encampments, but tents have sprung back up again within hours. Business owners complain about the homeless defecating in front of their stores. The common fear is that Portland has gone from a kooky progressive city with great restaurants and reliable public transportation to a hellscape with high taxes and overstretched city services. Read the full story: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12546209/nike-closes-portland-community-store-theft.html?ito=msngallery
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Post source: Daily mail