A Portland, Oregon, clothing shop permanently shut down this month after facing a string of break-ins that has left the store financially gutted, according to a note posted to the front of the store.
“Our city is in peril,” a printed note posted on Rains PDX store reads, according to KATU2. “Small businesses (and large) cannot sustain doing business, in our city’s current state. We have no protection, or recourse, against the criminal behavior that goes unpunished. Do not be fooled into thinking that insurance companies cover losses. We have sustained 15 break-ins … we have not received any financial reimbursement since the 3rd.”
The store’s owner Marcy Landolfo said that after 15 break-ins over the last year and a half, the business can’t survive the financial burdens the crimes have cost the shop.
“The problem is, as small businesses, we cannot sustain those types of losses and stay in business. I won’t even go into the numbers of how much has been out of pocket,” she said.
“The products that are being targeted are the very expensive winter products and I just felt like the minute I get those in the store they’re going to get stolen,” Landolfo continued to KATU2.
The message posted to the front store noted that the shop is closing down due to the “unrelenting criminal behavior,” “coupled with escalating safety issues for our employees.”
When Rains faced a break-in last month, according to KATU 2, Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office said they were working on a plan to better financially assist business owners who needed to repair their shops.
But Landolfo said that isn’t enough to address crime in the city.
“Paying for glass that’s great, but that is so surface and does nothing for the root cause of the problem, so it’s never going to change,” she said.
Rains is the latest store in Portland to close up shop following crime spikes. A Nike location abruptly, and reportedly temporarily, closed up shop earlier this fall after brazen shoplifting incidents.
Thefts have plagued retail chains nationwide in recent years. The National Retail Federation conducted a survey that found organized retail crime increased by 26.5% in 2021, resulting in a multi-billion dollar issue for businesses.
Violent crime in Portland has skyrocketed over the last few years. A recent study found it rose most precipitously in 2020 when the city saw near-nightly protests and riots over the death of George Floyd.
The city saw a 58% increase in homicides in 2020 compared to the year prior, and 2021 notched a 54% increase in homicides compared to the already violent and bloody 2020. The number of homicides in 2021 was a 238% increase from the numbers recorded in 2018.