A downtown Nike store is shuttering its doors, marking an end to the storefront’s decades-long presence in Seattle amid a sharp spike in violent crime and a homelessness crisis.
"We look forward to serving you at Nike.com," according to a sign posted in the Sixth Avenue and Pike Street Nike store window reads.
The store has been a downtown staple since it opened in 1996, but after the pandemic and rising crime,the shoe giant has switched gears announcing that they will be closing their doors along with other Seattle stores, like Starbucks, Seattle Credit Union, and a host of local small businesses.
Seattle has been dealing with a violent crime spike in recent years, including a 23% increase in fatal shootings in 2022. The city is also contending with issues of homelessness, drug use and cratering foot traffic stemming from the pandemic.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's annual homelessness assessment, released at the end of December, shows that Washington is second only to California when it comes to its number of residents living outside with no shelter.
According to the DSA, November 2022 saw more than 2.1 million visitors, which is still less than pre-pandemic numbers in November 2019, but it is only slightly higher than last year. On the weekend after Thanksgiving, downtown's retail core had more than 115,000 visitors, a 6% increase over 2021's count.
"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." Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) said in a statement. "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 several other downtown businesses that have recently closed, including multiple Starbucks locations which also left over increasing crime in the area.
Starbucks, which is based out of Seattle, closed at least six Starbucks locations in the city over safety concerns in 2022.
The Seattle Credit Union also shut down branches in the city due to crime and cratering foot traffic.
"Over the past few years, branch foot traffic has declined 55% and 49% of transactions have moved to digital channels. The pandemic has had a major impact on transaction behavior and the adoption of electronic transactions," Seattle Credit Union president and CEO Richard Romero told Fox News Digital.
According to Nike's website, the next closest locations to shop will be the Nike factory store in Bellevue, the Nike clearance store in Auburn and the Nike factory store in North Bend.
Nike, Inc. did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital request for comment.
Fox News' Emma Colton contributed to this report.