PORTLAND, Ore. -- Adidas is pulling out of the Pearl District just as a Chinese competitor moves in.
The German company recently posted signs in the windows of its flagship store announcing a January 17th closure, catching many by surprise since the company's North American headquarters are located here, in North Portland.
"It's probably a very tough decision for them to do that," said Neil Mandel after purchasing clothes for his son at the Adidas store.
Mandel assumed the closure had something to do with the economy but Adidas officials said that's not the case.
In a statement to KGW, Adidas said, "This is not a specific reaction to the economy, merely a normal part of managing the retail business and the store portfolio."
Meanwhile, three blocks away, the Chinese footwear and apparel retailer Li-Ning opened its doors Monday to U.S. shoppers for the first time.
Li-ning is the top competitor to Nike and Adidas in China with about 6,800 retail outlets there. In fact, the company said it chose Portland for its first U.S. retail store in part because of the region's "Nike and Adidas corporate presence."
"Because of those two large players the industry draws a lot of talent to the Portland area," said Jay Li, spokesman for Li-Ning Sports USA.
Li-Ning will soon bge the lone corporate footwear retailer in the Pearl. Recently, Puma tore down its own signs and closed the Pearl location.
"I'm actually saddened by the fact that they've left the neighborhood," said Li.
Fans of the shopping district are worried.
"Hopefully, that's going to be it," said passerby Travis Wyant. "I kind of hate to see stuff close, especially a company like (Adidas), you know, it brings a lot of revenue."