New 20,000-square-foot store will bring quality outdoor gear to the BullStreet District
03.26.2019
SEATTLE – REI Co-op is adding its second location in South Carolina in spring 2020, bringing a wide assortment of quality outdoor gear, experiences and expertise to Columbia’s BullStreet District. The new 20,000-square-foot space will carry the best outdoor gear for the region’s most popular activities including hiking, cycling, camping and paddling. With more than 122,000 lifetime REI members in the state, REI Columbia will join the co-op’s existing location in Greenville, which opened in 2011.
 
“We are thrilled to add Columbia, South Carolina to our growing list of new locations in the South. This vibrant community is known for its incredible access to cycle and paddle opportunities,” says Gail Kirkland, REI retail director for the South. “We look forward to joining the community and further connecting our local members to the outdoor places they love.”
 
REI Columbia will be located near the northwest corner of the district, at the intersection of Bull Street and Freed Street, one block from Colonial Drive. During the construction of REI’s store, Freed Street will be reconfigured to better connect Bull Street to the entry plaza of Segra Park. The BullStreet District’s plans also call for daylighting Smith Branch Creek and constructing a 20-acre public park, both of which will compliment REI’s new store. The store will be designed by Wakefield Beasley Architects in Atlanta and built by McCrory Construction of Columbia.
 
“We welcome REI Co-op to Columbia as the first of many retailers in the BullStreet District that will add to our city’s growing vitality in so many ways,” says Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “REI’s history as a good corporate partner is impressive, and we look forward to working with them.”
 
In addition to offering quality outdoor gear, REI Columbia will also offer workshops to connect people to a life outdoors. A national leader in outdoor experiences, REI helped more than 350,000 people across the country get outside through classes and events last year.
 
REI is a member-owned co-op, founded in 1938 and dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. While anyone may shop at REI, members pay $20 for a lifetime membership and share in the company’s profits through an annual dividend.
 
As a co-op, protecting wild spaces and investing in spaces for outdoor recreation is a key part of REI’s mission. The co-op annually gives back nearly 70 percent of its profits to the outdoor community. In South Carolina, REI invested a total of $12,000 in the Anne Springs Close Greenway and the Foothills Trail Conference. As REI gets closer to opening in Columbia, the co-op plans to invest further in the local outdoor community in the Midlands and surrounding regions.
 
“REI Co-op is on the cutting edge of lifestyle retailing that promotes the love of the outdoors, which our region embraces. The company is known for providing top quality goods and services for the outdoors, and for putting an emphasis on giving back to the community in many ways,” says Robert Hughes, Hughes Development Corporation president and master developer of the BullStreet District. “REI is exactly the kind of retailer that our 20-year development plan envisions with a dynamic mix of residential, retail, restaurant and recreational uses.”
 
Join the REI team
Candidates interested in joining the REI team at any local store can apply online at REI.com/jobs. In 2020, REI expects to hire nearly 45 employees at the new store in Columbia. New employees will receive a wide variety of benefits, including generous product and service discounts, competitive pay and retirement contributions. REI employees also enjoy unique perks, like two paid “Yay Days” that allow them to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity and an additional paid day off on Black Friday to #OptOutside with family and friends. REI has been recognized as one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 22 consecutive years.
 
Store facts:
  • Location: The BullStreet District in downtown Columbia, South Carolina
  • Square footage: 20,000 square feet
  • Open date: Spring 2020
  • Lifetime REI members in South Carolina: Over 122,000
  • Other REI locations in South Carolina: Greenville (opened 2011)
 
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 17 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 154 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs more than 170 custom-designed itineraries worldwide. The REI Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner-to advanced-level courses 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.
 
About the BullStreet District
Known as the largest urban redevelopment project on the East Coast, the BullStreet District is an active transformation of the historic, 181-acre South Carolina State Hospital campus into a vibrant, mixed-use lifestyle district that reflects the authenticity of downtown Columbia, S.C. The state’s first urban gigabit community, BullStreet is a city-within-a-city, located one mile from the S.C. State House and anchored by the award-winning stadium, Segra Park (f.k.a. Spirit Communications Park), home of the Columbia Fireflies Minor League Baseball team. Well into a 20-year buildout that started in January 2015, the district already is home to an array of local and national businesses, including global tech giant Capgemini, Central Carolina Community Foundation, Founders Federal Credit Union and Ogletree Deakins law firm in the First Base Building; SOCO, COLAToday and tech/creative startups in the historic Bakery; Bone-In Barbeque restaurant in the historic Ensor Building; the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ Parker Annex Archaeology Center; the sleek, modern Central Energy event venue; and the new TownPark at BullStreet townhomes. Soon, the Merrill Gardens active senior community will open across the street from a new 20-acre public park, with a 2-acre pond, trails, dog park, restored creek and more. BullStreet contains 125,000+ square feet of commercial/office and retail space and is zoned for up to 3.3 million square feet of commercial use and 3,558 residential units. Follow @BullStreetSC and #BullStreetSC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and learn more at http://www.bullstreetsc.com.
 
 
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