Walmart to Close Both Portland Stores This Month, Some Blame Rise in Shoplifting

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Two Walmart stores located within Portland’s city limits will close permanently in the latter part of this month.

Two of Portland’s two Walmart stores, one in Delta Park, the city’s northern section, and the other in Eastport Plaza, seven miles southeast of downtown, will close their doors on March 24. Regular customers will be forced to go elsewhere.

Amanda Pahl, a shopper, complained that Safeway is her go-to store if necessary, but it costs three times what she would pay here.

A Walmart spokesperson said that closings were due to underwhelming sales, despite the loyalty of shoppers such as Pahl. The spokesperson stated that the decision to close these stores was taken after careful consideration of their overall performance. When making difficult decisions, we consider many factors such as current and projected financial performance and location, population, customer requirements, and proximity to other nearby stores.

Although Walmart claims that the Portland store’s “overall performance” was lower, others speculate that there may have been an increase in shoplifting and other crimes that could have affected Walmart’s bottom line.

Pahl stated, “We have to solve the shoplifting in one way or the other.” It’s gotta stop.”

Shoplifting isn’t just the fault of Pahl. In December, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon voiced concern about the increasing cost of retail theft. McMillon stated that theft is a problem on CNBC’s “SquawkBox.” “It’s greater than it has been historically.”

Andy Ngo, a journalist who was born in Portland became a household name through his investigative reporting about the city’s Antifa group. Ngo posted on Twitter that the rise of retail theft at Walmart was due to the Antifa riots of 2020 which “normalized urban criminality.”

Regardless of the reason, nearly 600 jobs will be lost when the two stores close. All affected employees are invited to apply at nearby Walmart locations, as their last day is June 2.

The Walmart spokesperson stated that “after we decide to move ahead [with a store closing]”, “our focus is upon our associates” and “their transition, which is what is happening here.”

Portland has at least 12 stores and Oregon has 45. However, the exact number of job openings at each store is not known.