Nike Closes Flagship Store in Seattle Citing Crime

The Nike store on Sixth Avenue and Pike Street in Seattle has announced that it will be closing its doors after nearly 30 years in the city. The store has been a downtown staple since it opened in 1996. However, with a sharp spike in violent crime and homelessness, the shoe giant has decided to close, along with multiple other local small businesses.

Fox Business reports that Seattle has been dealing with a significant increase in violent crime in recent years, including a 23% increase in fatal shootings in 2022. The city is also struggling with homelessness, drug use, and a decline in foot traffic stemming from the pandemic. According to the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), November 2022 saw about 2.1 million visitors, less than pre-pandemic numbers in November 2019 but slightly higher than 2021.

The DSA stated, “For several years, retailers have been evaluating changing needs for space and scale. We’ve seen that in urban areas since before the pandemic. We never like to see a downtown retailer choose to close and Niketown has been a great part of our retail mix through the years. We are excited about several newcomers who have opened their doors in recent months with more on the way. To help foster their success we need to ensure a safe and welcoming environment, something that’s been improving in downtown and is top of mind for our city leaders.”

Nike is following in the footsteps of several other downtown businesses that have recently closed, including multiple Starbucks locations, which also left over increasing crime in the area. Additionally, Seattle Credit Union shut down branches in the city due to crime and a decline in foot traffic.

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