Outdoor co-op brings quality outdoor gear, experiences and expertise to four communities and three new states
11.14.2019
SEATTLE – For the first time in its 81-year history, REI Co-op will open four new stores in a single day on November 15, bringing quality outdoor gear, experiences and expertise to Farmington, Utah; Huntsville, Alabama; Oklahoma City and Williston, Vermont. By the end of the year, REI will have opened a total of eight new stores, relocated two existing stores to larger locations, and opened three new boathouses in 2019.
 
“Our business has never been just about selling stuff. Our bigger goal is to share our love of the outdoors and, in doing so, awaken that love in others,” said Tim Spangler, REI senior vice president of retail. “By continuing to grow in new communities and new regions of the country, we look forward to welcoming more people to the co-op and connecting them to the activities they love. Over the coming years, we’ll do that through a mix of physical experiences – from traditional stores to gateway locations like our new store in North Conway, New Hampshire.”
 
REI is a retailer known for innovation and doing business differently. While anyone may shop at REI, members pay $20 for a lifetime membership and share in the company’s profits through an annual dividend. In addition, REI annually invests 70 percent of its profits in the outdoor community through member dividends, employee retirement contributions and investments in nonprofits. In 2018, REI invested $8.4 million in 431 nonprofits across the country.
 
In addition to continuing to expand its brick-and-mortar locations, this year REI also grew its rental and used gear business and debuted a new in-store experience in North Conway, New Hampshire that combines retail, experiences and rentals. Over the last five years, REI has seen more than 27% growth in membership and 25% growth in revenue – much of that growth continuing to come from brick and mortar retail.
 
In 2015, REI shocked the retail industry when it announced it would close its stores on the busiest retail day of the year, process no online sales and pay employees to spend Black Friday outside with friends and family. For the fifth time this year, REI is continuing its #OptOutside tradition and rallying its 13,000 employees and 18 million members to do more for the planet.
 
To celebrate its four new stores, REI will host local grand opening events with free public activities and giveaways November 15-17. At each location, the first 250 people (age 18 and up) through the doors on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will receive a limited-edition water bottle with a $10, $50 or $100 REI gift card inside. Opening times vary by location.
 
In addition, every location will host an afternoon social each day from 3-6 p.m. local time. The store party will feature free food, music and games, and vendors will be onsite offering exclusive giveaways and demonstrations.
 
Farmington, Utah
 
REI Farmington opens at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Station Park shopping center, just off Interstate 15 between Salt Lake City and Ogden. In addition to quality outdoor gear, REI Farmington will also offer:
 
  • Special features: Bike, ski and snowboard shops for maintenance and repairs; personal outfitting services
  • Gear rentals: Snowshoes and cross-country skis
  • Local experiences to connect people to the outdoors: Upcoming programs in the area include Intro to Canyoneering, Utah Avalanche Center: Know Before You Go and Wilderness First Aid with REI & NOLS.
  • Local partnerships: REI is partnering with local Kiitos Brewing Company on a limited-edition brew, “Wild Path Amber Ale.” Together, REI and Kiitos Brewing Company are donating 10% of beer sales to support Weber Pathways.
 
“Utah is home to some of the most iconic outdoor places in the country, and we are thrilled to further connect our local and visiting members to the activities they love,” said Angelica Ramirez, REI Farmington store manager. “While our ultimate goal is to get people outside, we also know that it’s important to continue to protect and invest in the outdoor places that make this region special.”
 
REI has been a part of the Utah community for more than 35 years and last year invested $77,500 in local outdoor nonprofits to create access to the outdoors. This year, REI is investing a total of $20,000 in Farmington-based nonprofits including Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center and Weber Pathways. The new store marks the co-op’s third location in Utah, joining existing stores in Salt Lake City and Sandy. REI hired 60 employees for the Farmington location and has more than 320,000 lifetime members in Utah.
 
Huntsville, Alabama
 
REI officially opens its second Alabama location, bringing quality outdoor gear, expertise and experiences to MidCity Huntsville. The new 20,000 square-foot store will open at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. on Sunday. REI Huntsville will offer quality outdoor gear in addition to the following services:
 
  • Special features: Bike shop for maintenance and repairs; personal outfitting services
  • Local experiences to connect people to the outdoors: Upcoming programs in Huntsville include Bike Chains and Derailleurs Workshop, Trail Running Basics and Backcountry Tents and Sleep Systems Workshop.
  • Local partnerships: REI is partnering with Straight to Ale on a limited-edition brew, “Mud Dog Dark Lager.” Together, REI and Straight to Ale are donating 10% of beer sales to support the Land Trust of North Alabama.
 
“Whether hiking at Blevins Gap, mountain biking at Wade Mountain or paddling along the Tennessee River, we will offer everything our members need to get outside,” said Jason Priest, REI Huntsville store manager. “With our second store in the state, we look forward to continuing to grow and invest in Alabama’s outdoor community.”
 
REI opened its first store in Alabama in Birmingham on October 4 and this year invested $40,000 in local outdoor nonprofits in the state. This investment includes a total of $20,000 for Huntsville-based Land Trust of North Alabama and the Alabama Rivers Alliance. REI hired 60 employees for the Huntsville location and has more than 53,000 lifetime members in Alabama.
 
Oklahoma City
 
REI Oklahoma City is the co-op’s first location in the state, offering a wide variety of quality outdoor gear for hiking, paddling, camping and trail running. The new 23,000 square-foot store opens at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. on Sunday. In addition, REI Oklahoma City will offer:
 
  • Special features: Bike shop for maintenance and repairs; personal outfitting services
  • Local experiences to connect people to the outdoors: REI Oklahoma City will soon offer a range of programs to connect people to the outdoors through classes and events.
  • Local partnerships: REI is partnering with local Stonecloud Brewing Co. on a limited-edition brew, “Extra Sandwich Citra Pale Ale.” Together, REI and Stonecloud Brewing Co. are donating 10% of beer sales to support Friends of the Wichitas.
 
“With direct access to places like the Oklahoma River and the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, we can’t think of a better place to connect our Oklahoma members to the outdoors,” said Adam Dozier, REI Oklahoma City store manager. “In addition to offering gear and expertise, we’ll also continue to invest in the local outdoor places our members love.”
 
To celebrate the new store, the co-op is investing a total of $20,000 in local outdoor nonprofits in Oklahoma including Friends of the Ouachita Trail. REI hired 60 employees for the Oklahoma City location and has nearly 50,000 lifetime members in the state.
 
 
Williston, Vermont
 
REI Williston is the co-op's first location in Vermont. Located between Burlington and outdoor adventure in Mt. Mansfield State Forest and Camel’s Hump State Park, the new 31,000 square-foot store will offer quality outdoor gear for skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, trail running and more. Doors open at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. on Sunday. REI Williston will also offer:
 
  • Special features: Bike, ski and snowboard shops for maintenance and repairs; personal outfitting services
  • Gear rentals: Snowshoes and cross-country skis
  • Local experiences to connect people to the outdoors: REI Williston will soon offer a range of programs to connect people to the outdoors through classes and events.
  • Local partnerships: REI is partnering with Burlington Beer Company on a limited-edition New England style India pale ale, “Gazing Over Green.” Together, REI and Burlington Beer are donating 10% of beer sales to support the Green Mountain Club.
 
“Vermont is home to some of the most iconic outdoor places in New England, and we are thrilled to serve our local members from a community like Williston,” said Christin Robinson, REI Williston store manager. “Whether our members need a new piece of gear for an activity they love or want to try something new, we’ll have what they need to get outside.”
 
REI is investing a total of $20,000 in outdoor nonprofits in Vermont including the Vermont Mountain Bike Association. REI hired 55 employees for the Williston location and has over 32,000 lifetime members in Vermont.
 
This year, REI also opened new stores in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Birmingham, Alabama; and San Luis Obispo, California. In 2020, REI has announced plans to open stores in Appleton, Wisconsin; Wichita, Kansas; Columbia, South Carolina; and Tampa, Florida.
 

About the REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 18 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 158 stores in 37 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company, a global leader that runs more than 250 itineraries across all continents. In every community where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities.   To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.
 
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