Why Did Walmart, Cracker Barrel Close in Portland? ‘War Zone’
The closings have now been completed (end of March) but the rest of the nation is now noticing what's happening in Portland, OR.
Walmart, and Cracker Barrel complete shutdown of five locations
At one time, the famous national chain Cracker Barrel had three restaurants within the Portland city limits, and there were two Walmart Supercenters.
Now, there are none. According to OregonLive, at one time there were a number of Cracker Barrel venues in Oregon, the first one opened in 2017 in Tualatin. This was followed by Beaverton, Jantzen Beach, Medford, and Bend as well as Portland.
However, while the company says COVID pandemic issues force them to rethink and reassess their locations, it's no secret rampant crime in Portland led to the three locations there being shuttered.
An in-depth report by Outkick.com digs up data as far back as 2019-2020 showing the city's lax approach to crime, defunding police and other policies have led to businesses fleeing overrun areas.
While both Walmart and Cracker Barrel officially gave financial reasons for leaving Portland, the usual 'polite' corporate stance, the venues they closed happen to be in some of the areas hardest hit by crime. Outkick says city data shows at least 2,600 businesses have filed for a change of address out of the city since 2020.
Walmart closed due to "shrink"
Retailers have formulas to determine how much loss they can afford from defective product returns, broken or damaged items, and theft. While officials cited pandemic-related issues, OregonLive reported last December that theft and shoplifting could play a role in whether stores stay open. Apparently, the theft-shoplifting shrink was too much for them to absorb at these two locations.
The argument that crime was behind the two closures is reinforced by the fact that Walmart still has open stores in the suburbs of Gresham, West Lynn, and Milwaukee.
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