© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
Walmart to close both Portland stores this month, some blame rise in shoplifting
Composite screenshot of KPTV FOX 12 Oregon YouTube video

Walmart to close both Portland stores this month, some blame rise in shoplifting

The two Walmart stores within the city limits of Portland, Oregon, will both permanently close later this month.

On March 24, Portland's only two Walmart locations — one in Delta Park in the northern section of the city and the other in Eastport Plaza about seven miles southeast of downtown — are expected to shut their doors, including their pharmacy doors, for the last time, forcing regular customers to take their business elsewhere.

"Safeway is the go-to store, if I have to, but that’s three times the price I would spend here," shopper Amanda Pahl lamented.

Despite the loyalty of many shoppers like Pahl, a Walmart spokesperson stated that the closures are the result of underwhelming sales. "The decision to close these stores was made after a careful review of their overall performance," the spokesperson said. "We consider many factors, including current and projected financial performance, location, population, customer needs, and the proximity of other nearby stores when making these difficult decisions."

Though Walmart has officially blamed lower "overall performance" issues at the Portland stores, some have speculated that a rise in crime, particularly shoplifting, may have affected Walmart's bottom line.

"We gotta resolve the shoplifting one way or another," Pahl added, "because that is simply the problem. It's gotta stop."

Pahl isn't the only one to blame shoplifting. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon expressed concerns about the rising cost of retail theft back in December. "Theft is an issue," McMillon said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "It’s higher than what it has historically been."

Journalist Andy Ngo, who was born in Portland, became a household name after his investigative reporting on the city's Antifa groups. On Twitter, Ngo suggested that the rise in retail theft at places like Walmart is the direct result of the Antifa and BLM riots of 2020, which "normalized urban criminality."

Whatever the cause, the two closed stores will cost nearly 600 locals their jobs. The company has invited all affected employees, whose final day is scheduled to be June 2, to apply at a nearby Walmart location.

"After we decide to move forward [with a store closure]," the Walmart spokesperson claimed, "our focus is on our associates and their transition, which is the case here."

There are at least 12 stores located in Portland suburbs and 45 stores total in the state of Oregon, though the number of job vacancies at each of those stores is unknown.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?
Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →