PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland Pearl District will lose another large commercial tenant in early 2024 as REI announced Monday it plans to close its store.
In an email sent to members, REI said the Portland store had its highest number of break-ins and thefts in two decades despite actions to provide extra security.
The company confirmed the closure in a statement sent to KOIN 6 News and said in addition to safety concerns, the company has outgrown its current space in the Pearl District.
Spokesperson Megan Behrbaum said the building requires significant investment to address issues and the company has been unable to reach an agreement with the landlord.
“These issues led to the decision to close the store when our lease is up in early 2024. Until that time, we look forward to continuing to serve the outdoor community,” Behrbaum said.
She said the decision to close does not reflect the “hard work and dedication” of the Portland team, nor the overall health of the co-op.
REI said it is working on a long-term solution that complements its other stores.
In its letter sent to members, REI said it remains dedicated to serving its community in the area and is 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,” the company wrote in its email.
REI said the store’s closure will not impact its wide range of day tours and classes that its Experiences team offers. The company will also continue to support nonprofits across the region.
According to REI, the closest locations to the downtown Portland store include the Tualatin store 12 miles away, the Hillsboro store 12 miles away and the Clackamas store 15 miles away.
Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office issued this statement regarding the closure:
“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.”