REI Co-op to support outdoor leaders in the second-ever “Confluence Summit” in Asheville this July

Co-op continues work to unite diverse stakeholders from across the country to help shape future of life outdoors

Kent, Wash., 2018-Feb-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Earlier today (02.20.2018), the State of North Carolina announced its intention to host the second-ever “Confluence Summit” for state-level outdoor recreation leaders in Asheville this July. There are currently eight states – Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming – with an office, director or task force dedicated to the well-being of the outdoor recreation industry and to greater public access to outdoor experiences.

To assure robust participation from across the country, the REI Co-op has committed to fund travel for these outdoor leaders, and their delegations, who are developing a multi-state vision for connecting Americans with the outdoors.

“Gatherings like this can be a model for the future. They look to bridge across local, state and federal stakeholders to create a sense of shared mission and responsibility,” said REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “This work can be foundational for creating a next generation that loves and cares for the outdoors, and is vital in shaping the future of our towns, states and country.”

In 2017, as several states were establishing these leadership positions, the State of Colorado saw an opportunity to foster a shared vision for the future of the outdoors, to share best practices and, ideally, create a set of cross-state policy principles for maximizing the sector’s many benefits. At the urging of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, the state’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, led by Luis Benitez, set up the process for convening the “ORec 8” for this shared undertaking. The result of this work was the first-ever Confluence Summit, which took place in Denver on January 24, 2018, and was attended by approximately 100 delegates and staff.

Leading up to the summit and at the event, the delegations began to develop a collaborative working document titled “The Colorado Accords.” The document aims to define a collective vision and set of principles in four broad and important areas:

  • Economic development
  • Conservation and stewardship
  • Education and workforce development
  • Public health and wellness

The Asheville Confluence Summit will build on this groundbreaking work.

“It is imperative that the Confluence Summits migrate from state to state each year to celebrate each region’s robust outdoor recreation industry ecosystem and economy and continue work on shared principles,” said Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado office of outdoor recreation.

Once ratified, the Accords will remain a living document, open to adjustments and adaptations as best practices are identified and as other states enter the process. Additional states are considering creating their own outdoor recreation-focused offices. According to Benitez, as well as David Knight, who was appointed North Carolina’s Director of Outdoor Industry Recruitment in January, those states are welcome to join the effort, subject to a firm, unambiguous commitment to the sector from the state’s governor and/or legislature, and the designation of an outdoor recreation sector leader.

At the heart of REI Co-op is the belief that a life outdoors is a life well-lived and that access to enriching outdoor experiences is something every American has the right to enjoy. To support the first Confluence Summit, the Co-op made funds available to the Colorado Tourism Office so that it could offer travel stipends to delegates who lacked funding. REI has pledged similar support for the event in Asheville, subject to compliance with state and local ethics requirements.

“This gathering brings together thought-leaders from diverse backgrounds – from business, the nonprofit community, government and tribal communities. Given budget realities, many stakeholders could not attend without a travel stipend. We see it as part of the co-op mission to bring together advocates for the outdoors,” said Marc Berejka, REI’s director of government and community affairs.

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 151 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/rei-garage 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.

Media contact:
prrequests@rei.com

Source: REI

REI Co-op will close stores on Black Friday; will pay all 12,000 employees to #OptOutside with family and friends

Outdoor co-op launches experiential search engine powered by millions who have chosen to #OptOutside

SEATTLE, 2017-Nov-01 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the third year running, REI Co-op, the nation’s largest consumer co-op and specialty outdoor retailer, has announced that it will close its 151 stores on Black Friday, process no online sales and pay all 12,000 employees to #OptOutside with family and friends.

Each year, REI gives more than 70 percent of its profits back to the outdoor community. Rather than seek to pull shoppers inside for this Thanksgiving weekend, REI is launching a new experiential search engine at REI.com/opt-outside to help inspire and enable people to get outside. It’s powered by the individual and collective experiences of the outdoor community and free for all to use.

“We are doing this again to unite people and to find common ground in the outdoors,” said REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “Right now, I think people are looking for a moment to take a breath, reground themselves and come together. More than 700 organizations and nearly 8 million people have joined #OptOutside over the past two years. We could not be more thankful. But last year we stepped back and said we can do more. We asked how we could offer new practical tools and inspiration. So we have captured the experiences of the outdoor community and organized them in a way that no one has done before.”

At the heart of this year’s effort, the new experiential search engine from REI is designed to inspire millions of people to #OptOutside. It features images pulled entirely from #OptOutside user-generated content (UGC) on Instagram, augmented with real-time information about locations and experiences across the country. For example, users who click on an image of a hiker can see the name of the specific trail featured, the trail’s difficulty rating, directions to the trailhead, recent user reviews of the experience and related expert advice from REI. Beginning today and leading up to Black Friday, the co-op will release 20 films featuring this community-created imagery to connect people through their shared #OptOutside experiences.

The co-op’s efforts to get more people outside do not begin and end with #OptOutside. Year-round, the co-op partners with hundreds of local and national organizations, nonprofits and governmental agencies, championing the outdoor life by implementing and encouraging others to adopt the highest sustainability standards and working to increase access to the outdoors for everyone.

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 16 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 151 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI-Garage.com 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.

Source: REI

REI invested $1 million in organizations that create opportunities to connect women and girls to nature

  • New $500,000 Force of Nature Fund supports 26 nonprofits across the country 
  • Over 500 organizations responded to REI’s call for submissions

SEATTLE, 2017-Aug-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of its commitment to create access to the outdoors for all, REI has invested $1 million in organizations across the country that are creating opportunities to connect women and girls to nature.

In May, REI launched an expansive, consumer-facing effort called Force of Nature to advance gender equity in the outdoors and encourage millions of its members to embrace the outdoors as “the world’s largest level playing field.” As part of the effort, REI committed $500,000 to three national, women-focused nonprofits with whom it already had a relationship, including Camber Outdoors ($400,000), GirlTrek ($50,000) and the YMCA’s GOLD initiative ($50K). It also launched the $500,000 Force of Nature Fund, which extends the co-op’s existing work with women-focused nonprofits into new territory.

Twenty-six nonprofits were selected from over 500 organizations that responded to REI’s open call for submissions. Those 26 investments announced today, will help address obstacles the co-op found in a national study it commissioned on women and the outdoors.

“We believe a life outdoors is a life well lived for all. That means we support equality from the backcountry to the boardroom,” says Jerry Stritzke, REI’s president and CEO. “REI works with hundreds of nonprofits annually to help communities connect with the outdoors, and protect the places we love. A core part of our business model links the co-op’s health to investments in the outdoor community. As we thrive, we share this success. This year, with Force of Nature, we added a specific focus on groups that are creating new and inspiring ways to advance gender equity and inclusion using the outdoors as a platform. The Force of Nature Fund helped us identify hundreds of organizations doing incredible work, and we’re proud to partner with our new grantees to learn and be inspired.”

REI selected the following 26 nonprofit organizations to receive grants totaling $500,000. Awards were based on the fund’s eligibility criteria. Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000.

This investment is part of REI’s broader community investment strategy, which contributed more than $9M in 2017 to nonprofits at the heart of the outdoor community. Since 1976, REI has invested more than $80 million to steward our nation’s public lands, trails, and waterways, and to promote youth development, health and wellness in the outdoors. REI continues to support these efforts through invitation-only grants. For more information, visit:  https://www.rei.com/stewardship/creating-access.

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 16 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 150 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI-Garage.com 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.

Source: REI

REI launched a comprehensive effort to advance gender equity in the outdoors

  • Long-range effort will advance gender equity outdoors
  • Women will be front and center in REI storytelling for rest of 2017
  • $1M will support nonprofits that create opportunities for women in the outdoors

SEATTLE, 2017-Apr-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Outdoor co-op REI today (03.30.2017) launched a comprehensive effort to advance gender equity in the outdoors, encouraging millions of its members to embrace the outdoors as “the world’s largest level playing field.” From gear to experiences and from nonprofit partnerships to powerful women-first storytelling, Force of Nature aims to ensure that women are just as inspired and equipped as men to embrace life outside. Force of Nature features four components: a comprehensive effort to change the male-dominated imagery of people in the outdoors; a $1 million commitment in 2017 to support nonprofits that create opportunities for women in the outdoors; a stepped-up effort to develop and offer high-quality technical gear and apparel for women; and the launch of over 1,000 events designed for women, beginning May 6.

Force of Nature is a public-facing effort that builds on nearly eight decades of REI work to create more access to the outdoors for women. The co-op has a balanced leadership team. Women hold more than 40 percent of senior leadership roles, including the current chief financial officer, chief information officer, and the heads of human resources, merchandising and strategy. One third of the REI board of directors are women.

Current CEO Jerry Stritzke, who succeeded previous CEO Sally Jewell, has publicly led the effort to advance women’s leadership across the outdoor industry. One of his first acts as CEO was to launch a five-year, $1.5 million effort with Camber Outdoors that sparked women’s innovation and leadership in the outdoor industry.

REI board chair, Cheryl Scott, said:

“The leaders of REI have been pushing to change the way things are done in the outdoor industry since I got on the board 12 years ago. This moment makes me proud to serve REI because it’s not about putting women above men – it’s about creating equal opportunity and levelling-up in areas where there are still obvious gaps. I hope millions of REI members will embrace this because more balance outdoors means our kids, our families and our society will benefit.”

REI president and CEO, Jerry Stritzke, said:

“At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived for all. That means we support equality from the backcountry to the boardroom. As a man and a CEO, I believe it is important for every leader in an organization, regardless of gender, to champion equality and we are doing the hard work here at REI to make that happen. This isn’t about elevating one group above another or pivoting REI to serve one gender over another. This is about ensuring women are just as inspired and equipped as men to embrace life outside. Everyone should expect to get the same level of expert service, gear and experiences, and we need to get better as an industry at doing that.”

REI senior vice president of merchandising and board chair of Camber Outdoors, Susan Viscon, said:

“Strong women leaders have helped REI thrive since 1938. Force of Nature is rooted in that proud heritage. We’re taking an even harder run at ensuring women have access to the same high-end gear men do, which I’m particularly proud of. That’s been a consistent part of my mission here at the co-op ever since I joined 20 years ago, and it’s inspiring to see how our vendor partners have stepped up.”

Today, REI also published a national study commissioned to better understand the role the outdoors plays in women’s lives and how the outdoors is perceived today. The study revealed that 7 out of 10 women believe that women are under more pressure to conform than men, and that they also view the outdoors as an antidote to that pressure. Additionally, the study found that more than 85 percent of women see the outdoors as key to better physical and mental health, and overall well-being, and 73 percent say they would like to spend more time outdoors.

Changing the Male-Dominated Imagery of People Outdoors
The co-op has committed to putting women first and foremost in all of its storytelling for the remainder of 2017. The effort will “take over” REI’s digital marketing, social media content and media partnerships, and storytelling across member communications, REI Adventures, Outdoor School, REI Adventure Projects and internal communications. REI will host a film festival this fall focused on women in the outdoors, and partnered with Outside magazine to help them create their first ever all-women’s issue, due on newsstands April 11.

$1M to Support Community Organizations that Create Opportunities for Women Outdoors
As part of its annual commitment to create access to the outdoors for all, the co-op will invest over $1 million in community organizations that create more opportunities for women and girls to get outside in 2017. Roughly $500,000 will support organizations such as Camber Outdoors, GirlTrek and the YMCA’s BOLD/GOLD initiative. REI also unveiled a new $500,000 fund, available through an open call submission process, for additional organizations that create opportunity for women and girls in the outdoors. Up to $300,000 of this fund will be fueled by a custom-designed bandana, an artist collaborative T-shirt and member-exclusive REI Flash pack.

Outfitting Women for Outdoor Adventure
REI will continue to work with its partners to elevate and invest in companies that are creating the world’s best outdoor gear for women. For decades, REI has pushed the outdoor industry to put the “pink-it-and-shrink-it” philosophy aside and offer high performance women-specific outdoor gear. Women-specific product has improved dramatically, but in certain product categories, there remains a gap between the quality of high end men’s and women’s gear available. Several brands have stepped up as partners with an increased focus on world class women’s gear, particularly in women-specific fit and assortment, including Osprey, GHOST, Oiselle, Arc’teryx, Terry, Oboz, Darn Tough, Outdoor Research and prAna.

Over 1,000 Events Designed to Get Women Outside
Beginning today, REI opened registration to hundreds of REI Outdoor School classes and experiences across the country designed for women. On May 6, the co-op will offer a full day of Force of Nature experiences and programs hosted by its Outdoor School’s expert instructors and community partners. These events will continue throughout the summer, with more than 1,000 events, many of them happening weekly on “Force Wednesdays” in select markets.

The co-op will also host three REI Outessa retreats at breathtaking mountain settings. These immersive, three-day outdoor adventures enable women to find their outdoor community, do what they love and try something new in the country’s most beautiful outdoor playgrounds. Retreats are scheduled at Kirkwood Mountain Resort in California from July 14-16, Mt. Hood in Oregon from August 18-20 and Waterville Valley Resort in New Hampshire from September 22-24.

REI Adventures has also launched a collection of 19 Women’s Adventures in Africa, Europe, Latin America, New Zealand and North America. These extraordinary journeys are designed specifically for all-women groups and led by female guides.

About REI
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 16 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 147 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI.com/REI-Garage 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 170 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 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.

Contact:

REI Public Affairs
(253) 395-5958
prrequests@rei.com

Source: REI

REI co-op invested a record $9.3 million in nonprofits in 2016 and opened the country’s most sustainable distribution center

REI co-op invested a record $9.3 million in nonprofits in 2016 and opened the country’s most sustainable distribution center

 

Co-op invested $9.3 million in nonprofits and continues to operate 100% on renewable energy

SEATTLE, 2017-Mar-17 — /EPR Retail News/ —  Today (03.15.2017) REI, the outdoor co-op, announced record revenues for 2016 and highlighted how it gives back nearly 70 percent of its profits to the outdoor community. In his message to members, REI CEO and President Jerry Stritzke talked about the co-op’s sustainability work and its efforts to deliver inspiring outdoor experiences to local communities by creating access to the outdoors for all.

REI reported annual revenues of $2.56 billion in 2016, a 5.5 percent increase from $2.42 billion in 2015. Comparable store sales, which include direct to consumer sales, were up nearly 4 percent and digital sales grew by nearly 18 percent. The co-op invested a record $9.3 million in nonprofit partners in 2016 and opened the country’s most sustainable distribution center. Since 2008, REI’s demand for energy from the grid has grown only 4 percent while sales have grown 78 percent.

“There is no doubt that the current retail landscape is challenging, but we had another good year,” said Stritzke. “I am grateful to our employees, our members and our customers for their passion and commitment to the co-op community. Your involvement and commitment to REI allows us to do things like help build the nation’s trail network, protect public lands, and innovate in sustainability. Together we can continue to keep the outdoors healthy and accessible for the next generation.”

Giving back to the Co-op Community
This year, REI members received a record $193.7 million in annual dividends and credit card rebates. Members have the option of donating their dividend to The REI Foundation, if they choose. REI shared $57 million with employees through retirement and incentive program contributions, and the co-op’s record $9.3 million investment in more than 300 nonprofit partners benefited more than 1,000 outdoor places across the country. Many of the co-op’s community partners were among 700 organizations that joined the #OptOutside movement to inspire more than 6 million people to get outside last Black Friday.

Advancing Sustainability
REI prioritizes advancing sustainability in the co-op’s day-to-day business operations and throughout the industry. In 2016, REI established partnerships with 66 of its largest outdoor brands to advance product sustainability and gave more than 1 million products a second life through used gear sales, repair workshops and gear swaps. The co-op shared details about the design of its new distribution center in Arizona—the first in the country to achieve LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy—to make it easier for other companies to build sustainability into their operations. REI also continued to operate 100 percent on renewable energy at all stores, distribution centers and headquarters.

Rewilding Projects
For nearly eight decades, REI has been committed to creating outdoor access for all. The co-op has helped build the nation’s trail network by investing more than $77 million in nonprofits that create access to and steward outdoor places across the country. As part of its investment in communities, the co-op launched five Rewilding Projects – a multi-year, multi-million dollar program focused on reshaping how people in large urban and suburban areas connect with the outdoors. REI is collaborating with nonprofits in five cities to help provide millions of people with easier access to nearby outdoor places.

The first set of Rewilding Projects include:

  • Bay Area Ridge Trail – When complete, the Bay Area Ridge Trail will total 550 miles and circumnavigate the Bay Area, surrounding 8 million people. Currently, 365 miles of the trail are open to the public. REI’s investment is helping accelerate completion by increasing the Bay Area Ridge Council’s capacity and supporting efforts to convene key stakeholders.
  • San Gabriel Mountains National Monument – The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in the Angeles National Forest provides recreational opportunities for millions of people in the Los Angeles area. REI’s investment in the National Forest Foundation and The Wilderness Society supports sustainable access, restoring and rerouting trails, enhancing infrastructure, and increasing connectivity between the city and the national monument by linking urban trails and developing alternate transportation.
  • Seattle Duwamish River Valley Trail Connectivity – This project will create a 15-mile mixed-use trail from the Seattle waterfront to South Park and Georgetown when complete. In partnership with the Seattle Parks Foundation, Forterra, Cascade Bicycle Club, Trust for Public Land and Mountains to Sound Greenway, this project seeks to advance environmental justice, address racial and neighborhood-level disparities, reduce health inequities and create economic opportunities through trail and open space connectivity.
  • Southeast Chicago – REI is partnering with the Chicago Parks Foundation, Active Transportation Alliance and Friends of Big Marsh to support the long-term transformation of the Calumet area into a thriving outdoor recreation hub. This project will develop a brand and raise awareness for the area, plan and implement transportation that will improve access for the community, and develop the Big Marsh property to include one of the largest mountain bike parks in the country, with mixed-use trails and paddling opportunities.
  • Washington, D.C., Capital Trails Coalition – In partnership with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land, REI’s investment is supporting the completion of a multi-use trail network in the Washington, D.C., region. This project will connect existing trails with new ones to provide outdoor recreation and alternative transportation to more communities.

As a member-owned co-op, REI’s board of directors is selected by active members, who can exercise their rights to vote for the board March 17 through April 24.

REI’s 2016 audited financial report is available at REI.com/about-rei/financial-information, the 2016 stewardship report is available at REI.com/stewardship/report and additional details on the co-op’s stewardship efforts are available at REI.com/stewardship.

About REI
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 16 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 147 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI.com/REI-Garage 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 170 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 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.

Contact:

REI Public Affairs
(253) 395-5958
prrequests@rei.com

Source: REI

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REI ranked number 28 on this year’s Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list

Outdoor co-op is one of 12 companies to be included on annual top employer list since 1998

SEATTLE, 2017-Mar-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the 20th consecutive year, REI employees earned the co-op a spot on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work® and Fortune magazine. REI is ranked number 28 and is one of 12 companies to be included since the annual list began in 1998. This year, the co-op is one of four companies headquartered in Washington state to be recognized on the top employer list.

“This is an amazing honor and we are all very proud to be recognized for 20 straight years. Our placement on this list for the past two decades is a reflection of our employees throughout the country, so I want to thank all of them for making REI a great place to work,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI CEO and president. “At REI, we put our purpose above profits and I think that’s a huge reason why people love working here, stay here for a long time and do such great, impactful work. Our employees have had a passion for the outdoors since our founding in 1938, and that passion continues to unite and inspire us, giving each of us a strong sense of what matters most, no matter where we live or work.”

A Great Place to Work
The co-op’s more than 12,000 employees make REI a great place to work by being highly engaged with and committed to serving the outdoor community. Engagement scores routinely exceed 85 percent. Fully 93 percent of co-op employees believe in REI’s vision, based on the results of the Trust Index, a survey sent by the Great Places to Work Institute to a random sample of REI employees. REI’s combined pay and benefits lead the industry, and retail turnover is almost half the industry standard and retention of full-time employees is 90 percent.

REI is a purpose-led organization that prioritizes stewarding the outdoors and sustainability. Eighty-seven percent of all employees said in a recent survey they believe that REI is an environmentally responsible company, citing actions such as the co-op’s new LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy distribution center, nearly flat energy use (+4.2%) since 2008 even though sales grew by nearly 70 percent, and the use of 100 percent renewable energy at all REI locations.

More than a Job: Joining the Co-op Community
REI looks for people who love the outdoors and want to align their skills and experience with the co-op’s core values: authenticity, quality, service, respect, integrity and balance. REI is currently seeking applicants for a number of positions at its headquarters, including information technology and merchandising roles. The retail team is looking to fill positions for at many locations, including new stores opening later this year. Interested candidates can visit http://rei.jobs/.

REI offers a number of unique perks and programs designed to help employees lead balanced lives and enjoy the outdoors:

  • Pay to go outdoors: Every single co-op employee receives paid time off to go outside and play—two Yay Days a year where they can participate in a favorite activity, learn something new or help create inspirational places through an outdoor stewardship project.
  • #OptOutside: Employees also receive an additional paid day off on Black Friday to spend time outdoors with family and friends. In 2016, thousands of employees chose to #OptOutside and more than 6 million people and more than 700 organizations joined the movement.
  • Commuting support: REI provides showers, towels, lockers and bicycle storage to commuters at most locations nationwide. The co-op also offers a 50% pre-tax subsidy on public transit expenses, parking subsidy and subsidized vanpooling and ride-sharing options.
  • Deals on gear: REI has discount programs for the gear sold in stores, making it easier for employees to try new gear and build experience to share with members. Employees can also receive up to $300 in REI private brands products for any outdoor activity, as long as it’s deemed a challenge for them.
  • Health and well-being: REI offers a benefit package to full- and part-time employees that covers the majority of medical plan costs and the full cost for basic life and disability coverage for employees averaging 20 hours or more per week.

About REI
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and   outstanding customer service. REI has 147 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI.com/REI-Garage 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 170 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 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.

About The Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For®
To identify the 100 Best Companies to Work For®, each year Fortune partners with Great Place to Work to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. The ranking is based on feedback from more than 276,000 employees at Great Place to Work–Certified™ companies with more than 1,000 employees.

Winning a spot on this list indicates the company has distinguished itself from peers by creating a great place to work for employees – measured and ranked through our analysis of the results of our Trust Index© survey and Culture Audit© questionnaire.

Through the Trust Index©, employees anonymously assess their workplace, including the honesty and quality of communication by managers, degree of support for employees’ personal and professional lives and the authenticity of relationships with colleagues. Results from the survey are highly reliable, having a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of 5% or less. Companies’ results on the Trust Index© survey are compared to peer organizations of like size and complexity. The Culture Audit© includes detailed questions about benefits, programs and practices. To be considered for our Best Workplaces lists, companies must become Great Place to Work-Certified™. Details are available at https://www.greatplacetowork.com/certification

About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. In the United States, Great Place to Work produces the annual Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For®” and a series of Great Place to Work Best Workplaces lists, including lists for Millennials, Women, Diversity, Small and Medium Companies and over a half dozen different industries. Great Place to Work provides executive advisory and culture consulting services to businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in over 50 countries across six continents.

SOURCE: REI

Media Requests

For more information or to request an interview, please contact REI Public Affairs at
(253) 395-5958, prrequests@rei.com

State parks join organizations in helping people spend more time outdoors as they waive fees on Black Friday

Outdoor adventurers can visit park systems in 22 states for free on November 25

SEATTLE, 2016-Nov-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — As millions of adventurers choose to #OptOutside on Black Friday, several states across the country have announced their plans to waive fees to park systems on November 25. State parks join a growing number (475 to date) of corporate, nonprofit and public sector organizations that are helping people spend more time in the outdoors this holiday season, and several state, local and federal parks that are always free.

“More than 1.8 million people are planning to #OptOutside with us on Black Friday. It’s amazing to see so many park systems join in the movement to give Americans even more ways to connect with our country’s inspiring outdoor places. We are grateful for the park stewards and professionals who make the outdoor American experience so vibrant,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI’s CEO and president.

“America’s state parks are a tonic for the mind, body and spirit,” said Lewis Ledford, executive director of the National Association of State Park Directors. “These experiences can be enjoyed within a short drive from home virtually anywhere in the country.”

State park systems that are waiving fees on Black Friday include:

  • Arizona*
  • Kansas
  • Oregon
  • California*
  • Michigan
  • Vermont
  • Colorado
  • Minnesota
  • Virginia*
  • Delaware
  • Nevada*
  • Indiana
  • New Mexico

State park systems that have free basic admission every day include:

  • Arkansas
  • Missouri
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Montana*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Iowa
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee

For the past three weeks, REI has helped promote different leaders discussing the importance of building and sustaining local, state and national outdoor places. Two of these perspectives, which were featured on REI’s Co-op Journal, include:

  • Will Rogers, President and CEO of the Trust for Public Land, recently noted that in 25 of the country’s largest cities, “more than half of residents under age nineteen don’t have a place to play outdoors close to home.”
  • Martha Roskowski, vice president of Innovation at People for Bikes, also recently highlighted the importance of building cycling networks within our towns and cities, so commuting to nearby places to play outdoors is easier.

Additional information on #OptOutside, the co-op’s partners and how to join the movement is available at REI.com/opt-outside.

That National Association of State Park Directors promotes and advances the state park systems of America for their own significance, as well as for their important contributions to the nation’s environment, heritage, health and economy. Additional details are available at www.naspd.org.

*Some restrictions. Contact your state park.

About REI
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 149 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI.com/REI-Garage 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 170 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 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.

Contact:
REI Public Affairs
(253) 395-5958
prrequests@rei.com

Source: REI

More than 365 organizations and more than 1 million people joined REI in choosing to #OptOutside on Black Friday

SEATTLE, 2016-Nov-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — Less than two weeks after announcing #OptOutside, more than 365 organizations and more than 1 million people have joined REI in choosing to #OptOutside on Black Friday. The response more than doubles the number of partners involved in 2015, and includes national and local organizations encouraging their members to #OptOutside or hosting outdoor activities for people to choose trails over sales on Black Friday.

#OptOutside has provided the outdoor community and our nonprofit partners an incredible platform to share the transformative power of the outdoors. The response it’s received in its second year is a powerful reminder of how this idea connects with people at an individual and emotional level,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI CEO and president.

#OptOutside partner highlights include:

  • Scores of parks and nonprofits partners are opening outdoor spaces for free, including all state parks in Colorado, Delaware, Kansas and Minnesota.
  • The National Interscholastic Cycling Association is encouraging all 10,000 student athletes and 4,000 coaches to take over 600 teams across the country out on rides on Black Friday.
  • Nonprofits like the Washington Trails Association with deep ties to local outdoors spaces are hosting volunteer work parties to steward trails.
  • The Massachusetts Audubon Society is leading bird enthusiasts through sanctuaries across the state on Black Friday and the day after, and for bird lovers in Michigan, the Huron-Clinton Metromarks are hosting an “Owl Prowl” on November 25.
  • Downhill skiers, show shoe enthusiasts and fat bike riders in Washington can enjoy Methow Trails in Winthrop Washington for free on Black Friday.
  • The Greenway Foundation in Denver will take elementary school students to the South Platte River for educational field trips all month leading up to Thanksgiving week.
  • Girl Trek is organizing 100 “Family 5K” walks across the country designed to get families moving, complete with race bibs and t-shirts.

CJ Goulding at the Children & Nature Network and Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison at Girl Trek have also voiced their support of #OptOutside on the REI Co-op Journal.

Contact:
REI Public Affairs
(253) 395-5958
prrequests@rei.com

Source: REI

REI announces the appointment of Raquel Karls as SVP of Human Resources

SEATTLE, 2016-Nov-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — REI, the outdoor co-op and national specialty retailer, welcomes Raquel Karls as its senior vice president of Human Resources.

Karls’ career spans more than 20 years with purpose-driven brands. Most recently, she served as chief human resources officer at Outerwall, the company behind brands including Coinstar, Redbox and ecoATM. There, she led a redesign of all people programs, including performance management, engagement, talent reviews and HRIS systems. She has also spent time in leadership roles in Human Resources at other northwest organizations, including Starbucks and Expedia, and worked in various leadership positions at Pepsi.

“REI is a unique place. Supporting our employees is one of the most important things we do as a co-op. Raquel is a dynamic leader with a love of the outdoors, a clear point of view and a passion for building a thriving team. Under her leadership, we will continue to build our reputation as one of the best employers in the country,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI’s CEO and president.

For 19 consecutive years, REI has been recognized as one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, one of only five companies to do so. Most recently, REI ranked #26. The co-op was also just announced as #10 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies in Retail, and was previously recognized on the lists of 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials and 100 Best Workplaces for Women this year alone.

“Joining the co-op gives me the chance to blend my experience with my personal connection to the outdoors. REI has a strong culture and highly engaged employees, and I look forward to helping drive further performance and satisfaction that foster our community and reinforce our values,” said, Raquel Karls, senior vice president of Human Resources.

The co-op is again closing its doors on Black Friday and paying its more than 12,000 employees to #OptOutside, and gives all employees two Yay Days, paid days off to explore the outdoors. REI employees also receive competitive wages, a funded retirement plan, generous healthcare benefits and significant deals on outdoor gear and adventures. Other benefits include paid sabbaticals, an incentive plan for all employees and more. Interested candidates can visit http://rei.jobs/.

About REI
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 149 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI.com/REI-Garage 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 170 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 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.

Contact:
REI Public Affairs
(253) 395-5958
prrequests@rei.com

Source: REI

REI thanks organizations who committed to create new holiday tradition and invites more to join #OptOutside

SEATTLE, 2016-Oct-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — CEO Jerry Stritzke invites nonprofits and companies with shared values to join the growing movement of 300 national and local organizations advocating for time outside with family and friends

REI, the outdoor co-op, thanks hundreds of nonprofit, public and private sector partners who announced the launch of #OptOutside yesterday. Prominent national and local organizations shared that they are joining with REI employees to create a new tradition for people to reconnect with friends and family outdoors at this important time of year. In the coming weeks, #OptOutside will lift up and celebrate people who dedicate their lives to the outdoors.

In a public letter on the Co-op Journal, Stritzke writes, “REI is committed to advancing this conversation about the outdoors and its benefits. This is a multifaceted topic, so for the next month you will hear from experts across the outdoor community about the power of nature to heal, the value of childhood play outdoors, the importance of nurturing and conserving our public lands, and the increasing need for diversity in the outdoors.”

Alex Thompson, REI vice president of Public Affairs, said, “Nonprofits and government agencies that steward the outdoors are at the heart of #OptOutside, but we also believe that many unexpected organizations can help remove barriers to the outdoors. We need to talk more about how we can collaborate to give people access to the benefits of the outdoors, even if it isn’t a part of their lives today.”

REI will publish viewpoints from leaders of organizations committed to advocating for the outdoors throughout #OptOutside. Upworthy, the mission-driven media company, plans to drive conversation about the important mental and physical health benefits of being outside. For those who don’t know where to go for outdoor adventure, the co-op has launched new online activity-finding tool to help people find places to explore nearby and further afield. REI employees have curated an extensive list of trails and parks, many nurtured by the groups joining #OptOutside.

The organizations choosing to #OptOutside and to bring others with them represent a range of perspectives, but share a common belief in the value of time spent in nature. New #OptOutside activities keep rolling in. They include:

  • Over 20 friends groups that dedicate themselves to supporting National Parks have indicated they’ll be urging Americans to visit their favorite National Park unit on Black Friday. The groups include Yosemite Conservancy, Yellowstone Association, Washington’s National Park Fund, Friends of the Smokies (N.C.), the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wis.) and Friends of Acadia (Maine).
  • As with last year, entrance fees for all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas will be waived on Black Friday.
  • The YMCA of the USA shares REI’s commitment to family and an outdoor life. The national Y will be asking 51 Let’s Move Outside cities to organize free outside activities for kids and families on Black Friday. The goal of Let’s Move Outside is to create partnerships among community organizations and government land managers to get more youth outside.
  • The Trust for Public Land – a national organization that helps communities raise funds, acquire and protect land, plan and design parks – will hold a nationwide photo contest for people to show off their favorite places to #OptOutside.
  • The Association for Experiential Education – a professional association of the nation’s outdoor educators – will promote #OptOutside to the nearly 700 attendees at its annual conference later this week.
  • Hundreds of local stewardship, outdoor education and environmental organizations will activate in the run-up to, and on Black Friday. Examples include:
    • Biking and mountain biking events will be hosted by Southern Outdoor Bicycle Association of Jacksonville (SORBA Jax), the Park at Big Marsh (Chicago), San Diego Mountain Biking Association and Singletrack Advocates (Anchorage).
    • Huron-Clinton Metroparks (Mich.) is hosting an Evening Owl Prowl. After in indoor class, the group will head out to see if it can attract Screech Owls with recorded calls.
    • The Buckeye Trail Association – the stewards of a trail system that goes all the way around Ohio – will host a series of outdoor events among its different chapters.
    • Friends of Island Lake (Mich.) will host a hike to celebrate its new 5-mile Hickory Ridge Hike and Ski Trail.
    • Friends of the Wissahickon (Philadelphia) will urge people to complete a hike, bike or ride on all 50 miles of trail in the Wissahickon Valley Park in the run-up to Black Friday.
    • The Rock Creek Conservancy (Washington, D.C.) will host an Unplugged Day.
    • Canyon Adventures in Southern California is offering a free one-day, Level One Canyoneering Class, including lessons on wilderness safety and preservation.
    • Methow Trails (Wash.) is opening its ski trails for free to REI members.
    • Islandwood on Bainbridge Island, Wash. will open the trails on its 255-acre campus to the public for a special #OptOutside edition of its quarterly Afternoon on the Trails.
    • The Salem Area Trail Alliance (Ore.) will hold a work party at Silver Falls State Park.
    • Washington Trails Association will host trail work days for anyone who want to volunteer.
    • Other nonprofits – like the Tahoe Rim Trail Association (Calif.) and Conejos Clean Water (Colo.) are closing and giving their employees a paid day off.
  • The co-op also recognizes Hellstern Middle School (Springdale, Ariz.), who will coordinate family friendly outdoor activities on Black Friday.

Nonprofit and Government Partners:

  • 52 Hike Challenge
  • Access Fund
  • AIRIE
  • Alaska Wilderness League
  • Alliance For The Great Lakes
  • Amargosa Conservancy
  • American Alpine Club
  • American Camp Association
  • American Hiking Society
  • American River Conservancy
  • American Rivers
  • American Trails
  • American Whitewater
  • Amigos de Bolsa Chica
  • Anacostia Watershed Society Inc.
  • Anoka County Parks
  • Anne Springs Close Greenway
  • Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
  • Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • Archaeology Southwest
  • Arizona Trail Association
  • Armand Bayou Nature Center
  • Association for Experiential Education
  • Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education
  • Atlanta Beltline Partnership
  • Austin Parks Foundation
  • Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
  • Bay Area Ridge Trail Council
  • Big Bend National Park
  • Big Marsh
  • Black Girls Do Bike
  • Blue Sky Funders
  • Bob Jones Nature Center
  • Boston Harbor Now
  • Boulder Climbing Community
  • Boy Scout Troop 44 (Renton, Wash.)
  • Buckeye Trail Association
  • C&O Canal Trust Inc.
  • California State Parks
  • California State Parks Foundation
  • Camber Outdoors
  • Canyon Adventures
  • Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy
  • Carolina Thread Trail
  • Catamount Institute
  • Central Ohio Mountain Biking Organization
  • Central Oregon Land Watch
  • Children & Nature Network
  • Choose Outdoors
  • Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance
  • City Of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation, The Loppet Foundation
  • City of Olympia, Parks Stewardship
  • City Parks Alliance
  • Clark Fork Coalition
  • Clean Jordan Lake
  • Climbing Resource Advocates for Greater Sacramento
  • Colorado Canyons Association
  • Colorado Mountain Bike Association
  • Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office
  • Colorado Parks & Wildlife
  • Colorado Youth Corps
  • Commonweal Conservancy, Inc.
  • Conejos Clean Water
  • Conservation Alliance
  • Conservation Colorado
  • Conservation Lands Foundation
  • Conservation Legacy
  • Consortium for Ocean Leadership
  • Continental Divide Trail Coalition
  • Creation Justice Ministries
  • Denali Education Center
  • Dolan Springs Trail System
  • Dunes Learning Center
  • EarthCorps
  • East Coast Greenway Alliance
  • Eastern National
  • Ecotrust
  • Essex Heritage
  • Everett Mountain Search & Rescue
  • Families in Nature
  • First State National Historical Park
  • Florida Hikes
  • Forest Park Conservancy
  • Forest Preserve Foundation
  • Forterra
  • Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area
  • Friends of Acadia
  • Friends of Capitol Forest
  • Friends of Crowders Mountian, Inc.
  • Friends of Eagle River Nature Center Inc.
  • Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Friends of Island Lake State Recreation Area
  • Friends of Organ Mountains
  • Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness
  • Friends of Sloan Canyon, NV
  • Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area
  • Friends of the Arizona Joshua Tree Forest
  • Friends of The Blue Hills Charitable Trust
  • Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
  • Friends of the Chicago River
  • Friends of the Columbia Gorge
  • Friends of the High Line Inc.
  • Friends of the Inyo
  • Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW)
  • Friends of the Mississippi River
  • Friends of the Wissahickon
  • Friends of Trees
  • Friends of Van Cortland Park
  • Friends of Virgin Islands National Park
  • Friends of White Clay Creek State Park
  • Gallatin Valley Land Trust
  • Galveston Bay Foundation
  • Georgia Trail Summit
  • GetOutHereHouston.org
  • Girl Trek
  • Glacier National Park Conservancy
  • Grand Canyon Association
  • Grand Staircase Escalante Partners
  • Great Outdoors Colorado
  • Great Parks
  • Great Peninsula Conservancy
  • Hellstern Middle School
  • Hill Country Conservancy and the Violet Crown Trail
  • Hip Camp
  • Hoosier Mountain Bike Association
  • Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
  • Houston Wilderness
  • Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation
  • Ice Age Trail Alliance
  • Idaho Conservation League
  • Idaho Trails Association
  • IMBA
  • Inspiring Connections Outdoors – Sierra Club Outdoors
  • Islandwood, Bainbridge
  • Jacksonville State University Field School
  • Jefferson County Open Space
  • Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism
  • Katy Prairie Conservancy
  • Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
  • Kwiaht
  • Latino Outdoors
  • Lawrence – Hopewell Trail Corporation
  • Leave No Trace
  • Legacy Parks Foundation
  • Los Padres Forest Association Inc.
  • Los Padres ForestWatch
  • Lower Colorado River Authority
  • Marine Conservation Institute
  • Mat-Su Ski Club
  • Methow Trails
  • Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts
  • Minnesota State Parks and Trails
  • Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (Coldwater Spring)
  • Mississippi Park Connection
  • Mojave Desert Land Trust
  • Montana Conservation Corps
  • Montana Wilderness Association
  • MTB Missoula
  • National Association of State Park Directors
  • National Forest Foundation
  • National Park Foundation
  • National Park Service
  • National Park Service Chesapeake Bay
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • National Recreation and Park Association
  • Natural Leaders Network
  • Nature Bridge
  • Nature Discovery Center
  • Nearby Nature
  • New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors
  • New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
  • New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Inc.
  • Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends
  • North American Association for Environmental Education
  • North Cascades Institute
  • North Country Trail Association
  • Norwalk River Watershed Association Inc.
  • OAK
  • Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center
  • Openlands
  • Oregon Natural Desert Association Inc.
  • Oregon State Parks Foundation
  • Outdoor Afro
  • Outdoor Alliance
  • Outdoor Foundation
  • Outdoor Nation
  • Outside Las Vegas Foundation
  • PA Cleanways d.b.a. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
  • Pacific Crest Trail Association
  • Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation
  • Palmetto Conservation Foundation
  • Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy
  • Park Pride Atlanta Inc.
  • Partnership for the 21CSC
  • Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation
  • People for Bikes
  • Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
  • Placer Land Trust
  • Potomac Appalachian Trail Club Inc.
  • Potomac Conservancy
  • Rails to Trails Conservancy
  • Regional Parks Foundation
  • River Relief Inc.
  • Riverfront Recapture Inc.
  • Riverside State Park Foundation
  • Rock Creek Conservancy
  • Rocky Mountain Field Institute
  • Sail Sand Point
  • Salem Area Trail Alliance
  • San Diego Canyonlands Inc.
  • San Diego Mountain Biking Association
  • San Diego River Park Foundation
  • San Diego Water Trail Association
  • San Dieguito River Valley Land Conservancy
  • San Mateo County Parks And Recreation Foundation
  • Santa Monica Mountains Fund
  • Save Our Canyons
  • Save the Redwoods League
  • Seed Your Future
  • Sempervirens Fund
  • SF Rec and Park
  • SheJumps
  • Shoal Creek Conservancy
  • Sierra Avalanche Center
  • Sierra Club
  • Sierra Club Outdoors
  • Sierra Club Outdoors – Military
  • Sierra Foothill Conservancy
  • Singletrack Advocates
  • Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation
  • SORBA – Upstate SC
  • SORBA Jax
  • SOS Outreach
  • Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land
  • St. Croix River Association
  • Surfrider Foundation
  • Sweetbriar Outdoors
  • Tahoe Rim Trail Association
  • Tapteal Greenway
  • Tarheel Trailblazers
  • Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association
  • Texas Conservation Corps – American Youth Works
  • Texas State Park Ambassadors
  • The Corps Network
  • The Friends of Cheasty Greenspace at Mt.View (FCGMV)
  • The Land Trust of the Treasure Valley
  • The Mazamas
  • The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University
  • The Mountaineers
  • The Ocean Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • The Park People
  • The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
  • The Trustees
  • The Western Slope Conservation Center
  • The Wilderness Society
  • Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
  • Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation
  • Trails 50
  • Trails and Open Space Coalition
  • Transforming Youth Outdoors
  • Treasure Valley Family YMCA
  • Treepeople Inc.
  • Truckee Donner Land Trust
  • Trust for Public Land
  • Trust for the George Washington Parkway
  • Ventana Wilderness Alliance A Non Profit California Corporation
  • Venture Out Project
  • Vive Northwest
  • Voyageurs National Park Association
  • Washington Area Bicycle Association
  • Washington State Trails Coalition
  • Washington Trails Association
  • Washington’s National Park Fund
  • Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition
  • Weber Pathways
  • Weir Farm National Historic Site
  • Western Rivers Conservancy
  • Whatcom Land Trust
  • Wild Olympics
  • Wild Salmon Center
  • Wilderness Awareness
  • Wildlands Restoration Volunteers
  • Willamette Riverkeeper
  • Winter Wildlands
  • Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association Inc.
  • Yellowstone Association
  • Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
  • YMCA
  • YMCA of Greater Omaha
  • Yosemite Conservancy

Brands and Companies

  • Adventure Advertising
  • Arc’teryx
  • Big Agnes
  • Burton
  • Cooperative Council of North Carolina
  • Google
  • Honey Stinger
  • KEEN
  • KÜHL
  • Meetup
  • Outdoor Research
  • prAna
  • Royal Gorge Zipline Tours
  • Subaru of America
  • Sustainable Brand
  • Terrapin Beer Compan
  • Upworthy
  • YETI

About REI
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 148 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI.com/REI-Garage 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 170 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 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.

Contact:
REI Public Affairs
(253) 395-5958
prrequests@rei.com

Source: REI

#OptOutside: REI to close its doors on Black Friday to encourage people embrace the outdoors and create new holiday tradition

  • Outdoor co-op will shut all 149 of its doors on Black Friday, process no online sales and pay all 12,287 employees to take the day off and head outside instead
  • This year, more than 275 national and local organizations form movement to invite millions of people to participate
  • New outdoor activity finder launched at REI.com/opt-outside to help people reconnect with family and friends this holiday season and declare support

SEATTLE, 2016-Oct-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — REI, the $2.4 billion outdoor co-op, has announced that it will close its doors once more this Black Friday. Stepping up its effort to create a cultural counterweight to Black Friday, REI says that it is giving #OptOutside to the outdoor community to lift up and celebrate the people who dedicate their lives to the outdoors. A vast network of organizations has united already to mobilize millions more to embrace the outdoors and create a new holiday tradition for all Americans.

“This year, REI will shut down on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday because fundamentally we believe that being outside makes us our best selves – healthier and happier, physically and mentally. But as a nation we’re still spending over 90 percent of our lives indoors and it’s a trend we need to tackle,” said REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “I love that there is a community of people in this country who dedicate their lives to that mission, so together, we are asking America “Will you go out with us?”

REI is putting power in the hands of more than 6 million co-op members and lovers of the outdoors, asking every individual to invite someone else to choose the outdoors over fighting it out in the aisles. REI.com/opt-outside will serve as the hub to get involved, declare support, invite others to join the movement or simply find a place to play outdoors. Visitors can upload photos, share through social media, discover thousands of trails and parks nearby or get connected with non-profits that steward the outdoors.

REI gives 70 percent of its profits back to the outdoor community annually and has united more than 275 non-profit, government and corporate partners to inspire millions of people to hit the trails, parks and waterways on November 25. Details on the partners and stories of their contributions can be read on the Co-op Journal at http://blog.rei.com/news/optoutside-will-you-go-out-with-us/.

Stritzke continued, “The moment we announced our decision last year, people who build their lives around the outdoors really embraced the idea of reclaiming Black Friday. It took on a life of its own and became about much more than REI. #OptOutside should be a platform for the nonprofits and public servants who are on the front lines of the outdoor community. They’re the ones who make the outdoors accessible for everyone. That’s why, from today onward, we’re going to lift them up as the official spokespeople for #OptOutside.”

During #OptOutside, experts from the outdoor community will share perspectives on topics including the power of nature to heal, the value of childhood play outdoors, the value of nurturing and conserving our public lands and the increasing need for diversity in the outdoors. Viewpoints will be published by the co-op on Co-op Journal and promoted by REI through social media in an effort to explore the idea that a life outdoors is a life well lived.

FOR MEDIA: B-Roll and photo assets are available in the REI Newsroom.

Appendix: This year, at launch, more than 275 organizations are already involved. Many more are expected to join by Black Friday.

Nonprofits and government agencies that steward the outdoors are at the heart of this effort. Organizations representing thousands of local chapters across the country have already joined #OptOutside:

  • Diversity In The Outdoors: Six nonprofits focused on increasing diversity in the outdoors will be hosting events all across the country. Our partners in this effort are 52 Hike Challenge, Black Girls Run, Camber Outdoors, Girl Trek, Natural Leaders Network and Outdoor Afro.
  • Local Nonprofit Impact: Local trails and outdoors advocacy groups, including Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Buckeye Trails Association, the Mississippi Park Connection and others will lead events on Black Friday to get people into the outdoors.
  • The National Parks Service is spreading the #OptOutside message to all park employees and The National Park Foundation, with the Parks’ friends groups.
  • More Joining Every Day: Dozens of other major nonprofits have joined with their own unique expression of #OptOutside. For example, the Trust for Public Land will a host pre-Black Friday event at a local San Francisco park the week before Thanksgiving to raise awareness, which several other groups have discussed doing. And The Sierra Club will help amplify #OptOutside by leveraging its social media and digital channels, which reach its 2.4 million members and supporters engaged in 63 chapters across the country.

Companies with a genuine passion for the outdoors have joined us:

  • Subaru of America. Subaru of America will be bringing together two of its drivers’ passions, the outdoors and pets, and inviting pet lovers everywhere to #OptOutside with their four-legged friends on Black Friday. To help those dogs who need to #OptOutside the most, Subaru of America will be providing a fleet of vehicles and drivers in New York City to take shelter dogs out of their cages and into nature for the day. Subaru of America will also be offering pet parents in NYC, and their dogs, a free shuttle ride away from all the concrete and into the great outdoors. Subaru of America retailers will remain open on Black Friday to help power all your outdoor adventures.
  • Big Agnes, Burton, Keen, KÜHL, Outdoor Research, prAna and a host of leading outdoor companies will connect with their hundreds of thousands of collective followers on social media with a unique, inspirational message to get outside on Black Friday.
  • Google and REI are launching a pilot program to support nonprofits in Austin and Seattle, starting with the Washington Trails Association and the Shoal Creek Conservancy. This pilot, in both markets, has two components. The first component is a “skilled service project” that centers on Google’s Creative Skills for Innovation Lab (or CSI:Lab), which helps organizations rethink how they collaborate, instill creativity and tackle critical organizational issues. The second is a more traditional service project, which REI will organize through its Outdoor Programs and Outreach team, with support from Google employees.
  • Meetup is tapping its network of 25,000 organizers who run local outdoor groups to host outdoor activities on Black Friday.
  • Upworthy is a mission-driven media company and will help drive a national conversation about the important mental and physical health benefits of being outside. Upworthy tells stories that open doors to new ideas that make people feel surprised, happy, inspired and motivated. Stories that connect us to each other, change our minds, open our hearts and sometimes even make the world a better place.

About REI
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 148 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/REI-Garage 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 170 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 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.

Contact:
REI Public Affairs
(253) 395-5958
prrequests@rei.com

Source: REI

REI opens its fifth store in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C., 2016-Oct-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — REI, the national outdoor co-op, opens its fifth flagship store today (10.21.2016) in Washington, D.C. REI has been running 100 days of outdoor events this summer in D.C. under the banner “United Outside” to bring people across the political spectrum together. The effort culminates this weekend with a block party to celebrate the opening of the 51,000 square-foot store in the NOMA neighborhood, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The store will offer the outdoor community a spot to reconnect with one another and discover world-class outdoor gear curated specifically for the region,

“Opening this incredible store in Washington, D.C. in a contentious election year has been fun, if a little challenging given all the noise around the election. It’s important to get past all that, though, and we’ve been working to show that the outdoors brings people together. Thousands of residents have connected this summer through our 100 ‘United Outside’ events. We’ve designed this flagship to be a beautiful convening space where the outdoor community can plan adventures over a great cup of coffee and gear-up,” said Jerry Stritzke, CEO and president of REI.

The distinct features of the REI DC Flagship include:

  • A 1,052-square-foot La Colombe café for customers to enjoy a specialty coffee beverage while planning their next outing.
  • An Adventure Station offered in partnership with the National Park Service and REI outdoor experts, will connect our members with advice on where to go and how to best enjoy the outdoors.
  • An outdoor courtyard at the store’s core for adventurers to gather, featuring a fireplace and views of the building’s historic structural concrete arches.
  • Bike, ski and snowboard shop services that will cater to the District’s cycling and snow sports assembly and repair needs.
  • A community space with a robust schedule of free and low-cost, in-store classes for cycling, paddling, fitness, hiking and camping, climbing, snow sports, photography and wilderness medicine.
  • A collection of gear shops that will blend into a commons area that creates a communal shopping experience.

“Our employees have been connecting with the outdoor community within the District and beyond since we first announced that we were opening a store nearly two years ago. Our members have been patiently waiting and we’re excited to open our doors. The flagship’s design represents a whole new approach to how REI thinks about the customer experience, presenting the co-op, our services and experience at their best,” said Rebecca Smith, general manager of REI’s DC Flagship.

Creating Access to the Outdoors
The co-op has offered Outdoor School classes throughout the region and events at the Wunder Garten outdoor space for more than a year, reaching more than 75,000 people. So far this year, REI has educated nearly 16,000 participants, and more than 60,000 people joined through 100 days of United Outside events. This includes nearly 42,000 people who participated in REI’s DC Free Weekend, where the co-op partnered with Capital Bikeshare, Key Bridge Boathouse and the National Park Service for free outdoor activities in June.

The co-op invested more than $1 million in local and national nonprofits throughout the region this year to shape outdoor places for the future. This includes:

  • Investing $240,000 in 14 local nonprofits, including Rock Creek Conservancy and the Shenandoah National Park Trust.
  • Granting an additional $100,000 in five nonprofits, including C&O Canal Trust, Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), Anacostia Watershed Society and the Outdoor Foundation—where REI helped send every 4th grader in Washington, D.C. to a national park.
  • Committing a total of $500,000 to WABA over the next three years to support a connected bike system to allow for easier and safer bike commuting.
  • Supporting national nonprofit organizations based in DC, including IMBA and National Park Foundation.
  • REI will celebrate the flagship opening with a three-day block party in the Wunder Garten and Storey Park, hosting outdoor classes and activities with a line-up of national and local musicians. The full schedule of events is available at https://www.rei.com/h/dc-block-party.

Honoring History Through Design
The co-op worked closely with its partners Douglas Development, CallisonRTKL and Davis Construction to honor the history of the retail space through smart design and construction. The building, formally known as the Washington Coliseum and Uline Arena, opened in 1941. Additional details about the rich history of the building and how historic elements were woven throughout the store are available at newsroom.rei.com.

“CallisonRTKL has had a long relationship with REI developing their next generation retail concepts, including their flagship in SoHo,” said Alex Shapleigh, CallisonRTKL vice president and the lead designer on the project. “We are honored to have partnered with them on their newest flagship store in one of Washington, D.C.’s most storied buildings.”

The flagship will join eight other REI stores serving nearly 300,000 REI members living in and around the Washington, D.C. area. It is the retailer’s fifth flagship, joining locations in Seattle, Denver, Bloomington, Minn. and the SoHo area of New York City.

About REI
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 148 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI-Garage.com 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 170 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 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.

About Callison
About CallisonRTKL: For more than five decades, Callison and RTKL have created some of the world’s most memorable and successful environments for developers, retailers, investors, institutions and public entities. In 2015, our two practices came together under the Arcadis umbrella, expanding our sphere of influence and the depth and breadth of our resources. Our team is comprised of more than 2,000 creative, innovative professionals throughout the world who are committed to advancing our clients’ businesses and enhancing quality of life.

Contact:
REI Public Affairs
(253) 395-5958
prrequests@rei.com

Source: REI

REI marks the opening of its store in NoMa this fall with the launch of “United Outside” campaign

Co-op kicks off 100 days of outdoor activities this summer to open flagship store in NoMa, including free weekend of events July 16-17

WASHINGTON, D.C.  2016-Jun-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — In one of the most heated political races in recent history, REI is marking the opening of its D.C. Flagship store this fall by giving residents a way to disconnect and reconnect with one another. Today marks the start of 100 days of REI events designed to help everyone recharge in the outdoors. Launched under the banner “United Outside”, the campaign culminates with the opening of REI’s fifth flagship store in NoMa this fall.

United Outside will give residents and visitors to the nation’s capital the chance to find common ground in nature during a divisive election year. REI is offering a weekend of free outdoor programs on July 16 and 17 in Washington, D.C., and plans to take the free weekend national later in the month.

“One thing we can agree on is the transformation that happens when we put down our laptops, turn off our phones and head outside. Being outdoors changes both our own psyche and our relationship with the people we adventure alongside,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI CEO and president. “We believe in a life well-lived in the outdoors for all.”

100 Days of Outdoor Events

As Congress heads out for recess, REI will kick off a free weekend of adventures for all residents and visitors on July 16 and 17. Some of the events include:

·       A collection of REI Outdoor School classes for hiking, cycling, padding and more

·       Free Capital Bikeshare rentals across the Greater D.C. area

·       Kayak and standup paddleboard rentals at the Key Bridge Boathouse on the Potomac

·       Free entry to C&O Canal National Historic Park at Great Falls Tavern, MD

The fun continues throughout the summer with United Outside events and opportunities to hone outdoor skills. REI’s event line-up includes a two-day backpacking trip in Shenandoah National Park, REI Wrench Night at Three Stars and a range of outdoor programs held at the Wunder Garten near the new REI DC Flagship in the NoMa neighborhood, including Campfire Chat Series, Backcountry Cocktails and the co-op’s popular Thingamajig Gear Swap. Full details on the events and outdoor activities across the District are available at UnitedOutside.com.

Vote for the Outdoors

Those who join REI at any of the 100 United Outside events and help the co-op decide how to share $100,000 with five local nonprofit organizations: C&O Canal Trust, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Anacostia Waterfront Society and Outdoor Foundation’s Every Kid in a Park. Throughout the summer, participants can vote at the Wunder Garten for one of these dedicated organizations doing important work on behalf of the outdoors in and around D.C.

REI in the D.C. Community

With roots in the D.C. area since 1987, the member-owned co-op has a history of supporting a strong outdoor community. This includes partnerships with WABA, Rock Creek Conservancy and Anacostia Watershed Society in creating access to local outdoor places, and helping nearly 300,000 members enjoy nature through inspiring gear, employee expertise and REI Outdoor School. As the nation’s largest provider of outdoor education, REI Outdoor School last year taught nearly 16,000 people across the D.C. area a new activity or advanced skills.

After an event-filled summer, the co-op will open its D.C. Flagship in the NoMa neighborhood this fall on the first floor of the historic Uline building. The more than 51,000 square-foot store will be the co-op’s fifth flagship location among 145 stores in 35 states across the country.

About REI

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 145 stores in 35 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

For more information or to request an interview, please contact REI Public Affairs at

(253) 395-5958, prrequests@rei.com

Source: REI

REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke to present keynote at Shop.org summit, September 29 – October 1 at Washington State Convention Center

Washington, 2014-9-15— /EPR Retail News/ — Shop.org will welcome some of the industry’s most distinguished and prominent executives to its Summit this September in Seattle, including REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke who will keynote the premier gathering for retail e-commerce, digital and multichannel retailers. Stritzke will be joined by REI Senior Vice President Brad Brown. The three-day Summit will take place September 29 – October 1 at the Washington State Convention Center. The keynote, “REI: Blazing Trails to a Real, Alive, and Connected Digital Experience,” will take place Tuesday, September 30 at 8:15 a.m.

“In an industry as fast-paced as retail, Shop.org seeks influencers and visionaries to speak at our events,” said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “Jerry and Brad are two of the most recognizable movers and shakers in the digital retail industry, and we are thrilled to welcome them to our stage to kick off the Shop.org Summit. I am positive their insights will greatly benefit all of our attendees and guests.”

Following the REI keynote, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reporter and author Brad Stone will address the audience to discuss his latest book, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, at 10:30 a.m.

On Wednesday, October 1 at 8:15 a.m., Founder and CEO of Kynetic (Rue La La, ShopRunner) Michael Rubin will join industry expert Sucharita Mulpuru, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research for a discussion on “Capitalizing on the Digital Transformation of Commerce.”

At 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, Shop.org will welcome four other industry executives to the stage for a special Q&A panel discussion, including Birchbox Co-Founder and Co-CEO Katia Beauchamp; zulilily Co-Founder, President, and CEO Darrell Cavens; Urban Outfitters Inc., Chief Strategic Officer Matthew Kaness; and Houzz, President and Co-Founder, Alon Cohen. Executives on this panel will discuss how to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry.

Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world’s leading community for digital retail, offering thought leadership through original research and gold standard events. The community is made up of exclusive networking groups and committees that lead the global conversation surrounding innovative e-commerce trends and digital retail. Shop.org members include some of the world’s largest most respected retail, technology, research, and consulting companies. www.shop.org

Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

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