SEATTLE – People who love to play outdoors will be getting inspired, gearing up and tapping into a wealth of expert advice at new REI stores in Christiana, Delaware; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and West Des Moines, Iowa. The national specialty outdoor retailer is coming to Delaware and Iowa for the first time late this year and opening a sixth store in Virginia in 2016. REI’s retail expansion is part of its strategy to serve a growing nationwide community of people who love life outside.
“We have wanted to open stores in Delaware and Iowa for years, so this is exciting, and we can’t wait to bring the REI experience closer to our members and customers in Virginia. At each store, we’ll work to engage, support and grow the outdoor community,” said Tim Spangler, REI’s senior vice president of Retail. “The co-op is here to help everyone have fun living healthy, outdoor lives with great products and advice that gets you out there exploring.”
In the fall of 2015, REI will open a 23,500 square foot, one floor store in the new Christiana Fashion Center, with easy access from Interstate 95 and Route 7 and to Delaware’s beaches. Presently, 74,000 REI members live in the region and they have loyally shopped REI.com or traveled more than 40 miles to their nearest REI.
Also this fall, REI will bring a new store to the outdoor community in West Des Moines. The 23,500 square foot, one story building will be in Mills Crossing, a new retail and housing development. The region boasts an active population including 3,600 REI members, but today the nearest REI is more than 200 miles away.
The company will open its doors at Pembroke Mall in Virginia Beach in the spring of 2016, on the corners of Virginia Beach and Independence Boulevards. At more than 27,400 square feet, the new freestanding store will serve nearly 7,500 local REI members and a thriving outdoor community. The first REI in Virginia opened in 1990 in Bailey’s Crossroads. Today, the nearest REI is more than 100 miles away in the Richmond-Short Pump area.
The stores will feature the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel. Each location will offer year-round REI Outdoor School classes and a bike shop for expert assembly and repairs. Watersports hard goods such as kayaks and stand up paddle boards will be available year-round in Virginia, and seasonally in Christiana and West Des Moines. REI Christiana will offer snow sports hard goods seasonally.
Nation’s Largest Consumer Cooperative
Founded as a co-op in 1938, today REI has 5.6 million active members and 138 stores in 33 states. Anyone can shop with REI, but members pay a one-time $20 fee to receive a share in the company’s profits. REI membership also includes special promotions and discounts on trips with REI Adventures and REI Outdoor School classes and events.
The co-op shares the majority of its annual profits with its members, communities and employees. Last year, it returned more than $114 million to active members through an annual patronage refund. The company also granted $4.6 million to over 300 local and national nonprofits to improve more than 600 outdoor places where its members and customers love to play.
Dream it. Learn it. Do it.
Whether you are a novice or seasoned adventurer, anyone can learn with REI Outdoor School. As a national leader in outdoor education, REI Outdoor School’s expert instructors and professional guides taught over 200,000 people across the country last year. Stores host free and low-cost in-store classes on cycling, paddling, fitness, hiking and camping, photography and wilderness medicine. Popular programs include Bike Maintenance Basics, Fitness Monitor Basics, Gourmet Camp Cooking and local presentations about the best places to play outside.
Join a leading employer
REI will hire approximately 50 employees for each new store. Interested candidates can sign up online at the recruiting pages for Christiana, Virginia Beach and West Des Moines to be notified when the store begins accepting applications. Employees receive a variety of benefits, including generous product and service discounts, competitive pay and retirement contributions. For 17 consecutive years, REI has been recognized as one of FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.”
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 5.6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips and outstanding customer service. REI has 138 stores in 33 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/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 150 custom-designed itineraries on every continent. REI’s Outdoor School is run by professionally trained, expert instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To invest in the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits who create access to–and steward–the outdoor places that inspire us.