Portland, Oregon – Nike has reportedly decided not to re-open its factory store in Portland, Oregon, which it closed temporarily last fall due to “theft and safety issues.”
The neighborhood’s business group, the Soul District Business Association (SBDA), said that Nike had confirmed its decision in a phone call with the group’s leaders, the Portland Business Journal reported on Friday.
The SBDA called the decision “a major economic blow.”
“This news has landed like a lead balloon in our district,” John Washington, the SDBA’s executive director, said in a news release. “We had all been holding our breath since last November when the store quietly shuttered its doors due to internal and external theft and safety issues. But, like so many of us riding out the fallout of the pandemic and protests, we held out hope that Nike, city officials and community leaders would recalibrate and realign order. But it looks like it’s game over.”
When reached for comment, Nike told Fox News Digital it cares “deeply about Portland’s North and Northeast community,” and that it’s store had provided the community with “access and connection” to the brand for almost 40 years “while serving as a catalyst for change through volunteerism, investments and partnerships with non-profit organizations that benefit the community.”
“Nike’s commitment to supporting and uplifting Portland’s North and Northeast community is unwavering. 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,” the company said.
“True to our roots, we will seek the input of local community organizations and leaders to determine the best new location. As we plan ahead, we are keeping the best interest of our employees at heart, providing them options to continue to be part of the Nike family,” it added.
Local ABC affiliate KATU reported in February that the retail giant had offered to pay for off-duty police officers to help beef up security at the store on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard — a proposal that never came to fruition — before announcing that it would ultimately abandon the store that community activists had fought to get opened in the neighborhood.
Portland Police expressed doubt about officers’ ability to fulfill Nike’s proposal at the time, citing an officer staffing shortage in a city that previously voted to defund its police.