Walmart is closing a bunch of stores in the Portland, OR area. They aren’t alone. Excerpt:
Walmart announced it is permanently closing all of its locations in Portland, Oregon, over financial reasons.
“We have nearly 5,000 stores across the U.S. and unfortunately some do not meet our financial expectations,” Walmart said in its announcement, according to KPTV. “While our underlying business is strong, these specific stores haven’t performed as well as we hoped.”
Both Walmart locations at Hayden Meadows and East Port Plaza will officially close on March 24.
Financial reasons. Uh huh.
Here’s the onion:
The announcements come just a few months after the Walmart CEO warned stores could close and prices could increase in light of sky-high retail crimes affecting stores across the country.
“Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in December on CNBC. He added that “prices will be higher and/or stores will close” if authorities don’t crack down on prosecuting shoplifting crimes.
Walmart’s announcement comes after other stores in Portland have closed, many of which cited crime specifically.
In other words, theft is a major issue, and for some reason – maybe a desire to get back into the market if the people of Portland ever regain some semblance of sanity and vote out the idiots that run that city now – they are downplaying the extent to which theft is a part of the decision.
Oh, remember when I said “they aren’t alone”?
A clothing shop called Rains PDX permanently shut down in November after facing a string of break-ins that left the store financially gutted. The store owner even posted a blistering note on the shop’s doors slamming the city’s crime rate.
“Our city is in peril,” a printed note posted on Rains PDX store read. “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.”
In other words, Walmart can survive without these Portland stores, but the small businesses cannot.
Look at that quote above. It’s hard for me to contain my utter contempt and disgust with the people who proclaim, “oh, they’re insured.” That’s a horrible, heartless and disgusting thing to say to someone who is watching their life’s work come apart on them while being recompensed pennies on the dollar.
As economist Herb Stein famously said, “something that can’t continue, won’t.” Most of our big cities, not just Portland, are on a trajectory that can’t continue. But they keep voting in the people that put them on that trajectory.
What happens now?