Walmart will close its last two stores in Portland, Oregon later this month, just as the company’s CEO warned might happen in crime-plagued cities, if outlets continued to be ravaged by theft and vandalism.
“The decision to close these stores was made after a careful review of their overall performance. We consider many factors,” Walmart said in a statement to local station KPTV.
But, in December, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon warned that soft-on-crime prosecutors and policies would force Walmart stores in high-crime cities to either close or raise their prices.
Theft at stores has reached a historically high level, McMillon said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” McMillon blamed the lax approach from prosecutors in many regions of the country, warning that “If that’s not corrected over time, prices will be higher, and/or stores will close.”
Unrelenting crime is also prompting other businesses to entirely abandon Portland, Townhall notes:
“Walmart isn’t the only company to decide to call it quits in Portland over crime issues. Nike and Cracker Barrel shut down last year, and clothing store Rains PDX did the same, according to Fox Business, leaving a note on its door in November explaining why.
“‘Our city is in peril,’ the message said. ‘Small businesses (and large) cannot sustain doing business, in our city’s current state. We have no protection, or recourse, against the criminal behavior that goes unpunished. Do not be fooled into thinking that insurance companies cover losses. We have sustained 15 break-ins … we have not received any financial reimbursement since the 3rd.’”
Indeed, the growing crime problem in major U.S. cities has gotten so bad that retailers like Home Depot, Best Buy, Rite Aid, Target and CVS appealed in a letter to Congress for help last December. Additionally, over the last year, Starbucks has announced the closure of stores, coast-to-coast, in unsafe cities, including Portland, Oregon.
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