Due to low customer traffic and sales, Walmart is closing its last two shops in Portland. While a few Walmarts will continue operational in Portland’s outlying areas, the city will be Walmart-free as of March 24 in favor of locally-owned businesses.
Company officials have said that 580 workers would be affected by the shop closures, but they will be allowed to transfer to other nearby locations.
Both of the closing Walmarts are in outlying areas of the city. Both stores serve the Portland area, one located in the Delta Park neighborhood of North Portland and the other in a Southeast Portland commercial center. When the Delta Park Walmart opened in 2013, it was the first new Walmart to open in the city in nearly two decades.
“We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at our Hayden Meadows and Eastport Plaza locations.” Walmart’s senior media relations manager, Robert Arrieta, quoted local TV station KGW as saying, “We look forward to serving them at our other stores in the surrounding communities and on walmart.com.”
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Walmart is closing ten underperforming shops nationwide, including Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC locations. These closures in Portland are just the latest. The Portland office is one of three being shut down by the corporation.
Some Portland residents have had a deep-seated grudge against Walmart for quite some time. Residents organized campaigns to prevent Walmart stores from opening in their neighborhoods in the 2000s and early 2010s, and on Black Friday 2012, over 150 people demonstrated outside of the company’s only store in the city.