Do closing downtown businesses signal shifting economy?

Shreve & Co. joins Abercrombie and Fitch, Macy's in announcing closure

A 'for lease' sign hangs in the window where Abercrombie & Fitch closed its doors in downtown Portland. November 15, 2016 (KOIN)
A 'for lease' sign hangs in the window where Abercrombie & Fitch closed its doors in downtown Portland. November 15, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Luxury jewelry store Shreve & Co. is the latest retail store to announce they’ll be leaving downtown Portland.

Shreve & Co. is located at the corner of SW Broadway and SW Morrison, across the street from where Abercrombie and Fitch recently also closed.

Just a block east on SW Morrison, Macy’s has also announced it will be leaving after the holidays.

“It’s changed a lot,” one Portland native said of downtown. “I think when these stores leave, we don’t go downtown. We go to the suburbs.”

KOIN wanted to know if the stretch of three closures signified downtown Portland was seeing early indicators of an economic downtown. We reached out to the Portland Business Alliance for answers.

“This is a normal progression of real estate in downtown Portland and in other cities,” said Downtown Retail Program Director Lisa Frisch, who said the three closures were part of a national trend of some retailers closing their doors. She said as a whole, downtown business is on an upswing.

“Our vacation rate in 2009 was 12 percent. That was during the recession,” she said. “Right now we’re at a steady and very low 6 percent.”

Frisch says more than 100 businesses have opened in downtown since 2009, with 35 of them opening this year alone. She also said businesses are already lined up to replace the closing businesses, as well as open in other locations, too.

“There will be several big announcements in 2017 about new businesses coming to downtown Portland,” she said.