Nike has permanently closed what it once considered its flagship Community Factory Store on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Portland, the Beaverton-based company confirmed in a statement to OPB on Friday.
Nike had sold discounted and out-of-season items at the Northeast neighborhood factory store since 1984. Citing theft and safety concerns, the sportswear giant temporarily closed the retail location late last year.
But the temporary closure stretched from days into months. Then earlier this year, Nike officials asked Portland city leaders for increased security in the area, if it were to reopen the store.
“I am very disappointed with the closure of the Nike Community Store on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in an emailed statement Friday. “My team and City Staff have worked tirelessly and in good faith with Nike for almost a year to offer creative solutions to their safety challenges.”
John Washington, executive director with the Soul District Business Association, which advocates for economic sustainability in the area, is concerned the store’s closure will hurt an already struggling small business community.
“This news has landed like a lead balloon in our district,” Washington said in a statement. “We had all been holding our breath since last November when the store quietly shuttered its doors due to internal and external theft and safety issues.”
Nike did not provide a specific reason for the permanent closure and said it is considering future locations in the area.
“True to our roots, we will seek the input of local community organizations and leaders to determine the best new location,” a Nike spokesperson said in an email. “As we plan ahead, we are keeping the best interest of our employees at heart, providing them options to continue to be part of the Nike family.”