A statement from Nike earlier in September stated that its Nike Unite Factory Store in northeastern Portland will no longer reopen. It was originally slated to reopen on May 1 following an "indefinite hiatus" last year, prompted by a rise in shoplifting. Prior to its permanent closure, the store first opened in 1984 and transferred to its current location in 2000.
The sportswear giant closed the factory store, the first one in its history, in October 2022. While the company's website said the Nike Unite outlet would be "closed for the next seven days," this quickly turned to weeks and then months. There were indications that Nike was working behind the scenes to reopen the store – but that didn't materialize.
"Nike's commitment to supporting and uplifting Portland's north and northeast community is unwavering," the company statement said. "We are reimagining Nike’s retail space, permanently closing our current location at 2650 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and considering future locations as part of this community’s long-term revitalization plan. True to our roots, we will seek the input of local community organizations and leaders to determine the best new location."
"It's very disappointing. I wish we could have had a different outcome," said Ron Herndon, a local community leader. He recounted a Nike representative calling him to relay the factory store's permanent closure.
The store holds special meaning for Herndon, as he was instrumental in its establishment. He and the Black United Front approached Nike almost 40 years ago. They urged the company to build its first-ever factory store along the stretch of Union Avenue – before it was renamed.
Even outgoing Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler lamented the Nike factory store's closure, saying he was "very disappointed" with the decision. He said his team and city staff "worked tirelessly and in good faith with Nike for almost a year to offer creative solutions to their safety challenges."
Nike's decision to close the community store is another huge blow to Rose City. Many retailers such as REI, Salt & Straw and Banana Republic have left Portland due to unchecked retail theft and public safety concerns caused by drug addicts. The city also lost its only two Walmart stores this year. (Related: CITY IN COLLAPSE: Every Walmart in Portland is closing as anti-cop city leaders allow rampant crime to annihilate retailers.)
In January, the company wrote to Wheeler regarding the factory store's October 2022 closure. It cited "deteriorating public safety conditions and rapid escalation in retail theft." Nike even offered to directly pay for dedicated police support to reopen the store. It planned to either contract off-duty uniformed members of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) to guard the store or sign an agreement with the city to fund additional full-time officers.
Unfortunately, Portland officials were unable to spare enough staff members from the already-strained PPB. Talks between the company, the PPB and the mayor's office fell through – and Nike went ahead with the permanent closure. "Ultimately, the city cannot offer Nike, or any other private business, with dedicated off-duty PPB officers due to PPB’s staffing shortage, Wheeler admitted.
The Daily Mail also pointed out that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in the city during the summer of 2020 exacerbated Rose City's collapse. The riots, which were triggered by the death of George Floyd, "also sparked a surge in crimes like looting, arson and vandalism."
"The persistent theft that followed created serious problems for the Nike community store," the news outlet said. "Nike employees admitted that they were prohibited from physically stopping shoplifters in the act. Confident thieves had no worries as they exited the shop fearlessly with armloads of shoes and clothes."
Given that Portland was ground zero of the BLM riots, it was also the first to fall foul of the "defund the police movement." The PPB saw $15 million slashed from its budget, limiting its ability to address crime in the city.
Visit Collapse.news for more stories about Nike and other businesses closing down stores in Portland.
Watch this video that tackles the permanent closure of Nike's factory store in Portland.
This video is from the mcr channel on Brighteon.com.