Walmart announced its plan to close its last two Portland, Oregon, locations at the end of March after disappointing financial results.
“We have nearly 5,000 stores in the U.S. and unfortunately some of them are not meeting our financial expectations,” the company said in a statement, according to KPTV. “While our underlying business is strong, these specific stores have not performed as well as we had hoped.”
The closures, which will result in nearly 600 employees being laid off, come after a statement from Walmart CEO Doug McMillion in December 2022, noting that record-breaking shoplifting had recently undermined the company’s economic performance.
“Theft is a problem. It’s higher than what it’s been in the past,” McMillon told CNBC. Prices “will be higher and/or stores will close,” the executive added if Oregon authorities did not crack down on rampant shoplifting.
Businesses shuttering stores in Portland are becoming more and more common. Last year, a clothing retailer, Raind PDX, closed operations, with the company specifically citing the cost of doing business in the wake of historic shoplifting.
“Small (and large) companies cannot do business in the current state of our city. We have no protection or recourse against criminal conduct that goes unpunished,” a letter posted in the company’s store read. “Our city is in danger.”
In a similar vein, Nike and Cracker Barrel locations closed in 2022 with companies citing similar reasons.
“We consider many factors as we make these difficult decisions, including current and projected financial performance, location, population, customer needs and proximity to other stores in the area. Our focus right now is on looking after our employees during this transition and working with our customers to transition their pharmacy and other shopping needs to nearby stores,” a spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
In late February, Walmart announced a series of other closures across the United States, including Florida, Illinois, Arkansas and Wisconsin.