(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Walmart announced that it was closing all of its locations in Portland, Oregon, due to concerns about the city’s chronic crime problem.
According to Breitbart, the two stores, located in the Hayden Meadows and East Port Plaza areas, will close. The 580 employees working at the two locations will have the option to transfer to Walmarts outside of city limits.
“We have nearly 5,000 stores across the U.S., and unfortunately some do not meet our financial expectations,” the company said. “While our underlying business is strong, these specific stores haven’t performed as well as we hoped.”
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon previously warned of store closures and rising prices as theft continues to rise in stores across the country.
“Theft is an issue,” McMillon told Breitbart. “It’s higher than what it has historically been.”
He also called out government officials, saying a “ lax approach from prosecutors” impacted “prices and lead to store closures down the line.”
Walmart’s official stance on the issue is less specific, with one spokesperson saying there is no singular reason a store may shut down.
“We do a thorough review of how a store performs and weigh many factors before making the difficult decision to close a facility,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
A January 2022 report on the Portland Police Department detailed the institution’s “low morale” due to the consequences of the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots that ravaged the city, as well as subsequent budget cuts to the department.
Although Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler later attempted to reverse the far-left efforts to defund local police budgets, the damage has proven too great to simply throw money at.
Many of the city’s qualified police officers fled for states like Arizona that signaled more support—and compensation—for their troubles.
Other chain stores, like Target, have experienced similar issues with theft.
“There’s a handful of things that can drive shrink in our business, and theft is certainly a key driver,” Target CFO Michael Fiddelke said.
Target faced more than $400 million in profit losses in 2022, leading to increased anti-theft action in stores and attempts to persuade lawmakers to take action against rising crime.