Nike's reputation bounces back
Nike scored a "very good" in this year's Axios Harris Poll ranking of corporate reputations, moving up significantly and landing in the top 25 of 100 highly visible brands.
Why it matters: Among all the companies, Nike made the biggest positive change in rank compared to last year, climbing 35 places from No. 56 and a "good" rating to No. 21 overall.
Portland officials are working to keep REI in town
Portland is actively seeking real estate to keep REI in the city after the outdoor retailer announced plans to close its only store within city limits, and city officials are also considering tax incentives to keep and attract new employers.
Why it matters: REI's decision to close its flagship Pearl District store early next year was an economic and political blow to Mayor Ted Wheeler, who said at the time he was "committed" to keeping REI in town but did not say how.
Expensify wants to revamp downtown with food cart pod makeover
The planned makeover of Portland's oldest food cart pod is intended to rejuvenate the neighborhood as well.
Why it matters: The global tech company that's investing, Expensify, is making a bet on a downtown block without expecting a significant financial return.
Portland's downtown activity flounders post-pandemic
Downtown activity has yet to return to pre-pandemic rates in Portland.
- That's according to anonymized mobile device connectivity data analyzed by researchers at the University of Toronto's School of Cities.
EVs' share of Portland-area new cars surges
Battery-only electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for 18% of monthly new vehicle registrations across Portland's three counties in February, up from just over 9% a year before.
- Plug-in hybrids kept, well, plugging along, hovering around 3% of new vehicle registrations over the past year.
Oregon lags other states in cannabis equity programs
The recent audit of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission recommends ending barriers that keep the state from spending cannabis tax funds to help people who have been disproportionately hurt by marijuana law enforcement.
Why it matters: Even though it was among the first to legalize cannabis, Oregon is now among just a few such states that don't have cannabis-related "social equity programs."
Freddy's is Portland's most popular grocery store
Fred Meyer — known by many Portlanders as Freddy's — wins the popularity contest among local grocery stores, with 29.9% of the market as of last year.
- Safeway is a distant second and Walmart third, according to new data from Chain Store Guide, which tracks the retail and food service industries.
Why it matters: There's a big grocery store merger looming that would shuffle this chart significantly. Albertsons, which owns Safeway, wants to combine with Kroger, which owns Fred Meyer and QFC.
- That could give the combined company a 52.2% market share in Portland.
Of note: Oregon's Department of Justice joined a failed lawsuit to stop Albertsons from giving a $4 billion payout to shareholders as part of the proposal.
- A spokesperson says the department is continuing to investigate "the competitive effects of the proposed transaction" around the state.
The intrigue: While the proposed merger could have a dramatic effect here, the parent companies are focused on battling national giant Walmart, as well as Amazon's growing role in groceries.
- Walmart dominates in U.S. grocery shopping, with a 25% market share, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Erin Davis report.
Stop talking and eat! Portland's local shops fall in the "other" category that takes 8.1% of the market. A few of many special spots:
- Providore: High-end local
- Kaah Market: Latin American specialties
- Alberta Co-op: Founded by neighbors 25 years ago; you too can be an owner
- Good Neighbor Market: Black bread, frozen pelmeni and candy by the pound
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