REI to close Pearl District store citing ‘increased crime’

Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 12:15 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Outdoors equipment company, REI announced on Monday that they’re closing down their store in Portland’s Pearl District.

The move is the latest in a series of businesses choosing to leave the heart of Portland.

The company made the announcement Monday morning in a written statement.

“We are sad to share that our store in Portland’s Pearl District will close early next year,” the company said. “For nearly 20 years, REI has proudly served our members and the outdoor community from this location. We’ve had a presence in Oregon for over half of our 85-year history, opening our third store nationally at Jantzen Beach in 1976. The safety of our employees, members and customers is always our number one priority. In recent years, Portland has been dealing with increased crime in our neighborhood and beyond. Last year, REI Portland had its highest number of break-ins and thefts in two decades, despite actions to provide extra security.”

“In addition, we have outgrown this location and as a result are not able to provide the level of customer and employee experience we strive for at REI. For these reasons, we are no longer confident in our ability to serve you in this location. We remain dedicated to serving our community in the area and are continuously evaluating opportunities for new locations. While we do not believe a downtown Portland location will be possible in the near term, our stores in Tualatin, Hillsboro and Clackamas remain open and ready to outfit you with the gear and advice you need to enjoy life outside.”

REI has three other stores in the Portland-metro area:

  • 7410 SW Bridgeport in Tigard (Bridgeport Village)
  • 2235 NE Allie Avenue in Hillsboro (Streets of Tanabourne)
  • 12160 SE 82nd Avenue in Happy Valley (Clackamas Town Center)

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office released the following statement in response to the news:

“Mayor Wheeler’s staff and leadership at the Portland Police Bureau have met with REI’s leadership team and store representatives for several months to find ways we can collaborate on addressing retail theft, vandalism, and other safety issues. The Portland Police Bureau and other public safety partners worked with REI directly to execute a retail theft mission at their Pearl location and developed proactive safety measures, including authorizing temporary security camera trailers at their loading dock and protective measures toward the front of their store. Last week, Governor Kotek and Mayor Wheeler announced a shared commitment to advocate that the Oregon legislature increase capacity at DPSST to help get newly hired police officers on the streets more quickly. The City’s Street Services Coordination Center has worked to cleanup areas near the retail store to ensure customers and staff can safely visit the location.”

“Mayor Wheeler is committed to further supporting REI to help ensure we retain their business in Portland and help them succeed. All options are on the table as we explore paths forward.”