Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a new store in Richmond, Va. at West Broad Village in November of 2009.
“With easy access to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Atlantic coast, we’re excited to join the Richmond community and be a gateway for people and families exploring these areas,” said Gail Kirkland, REI retail director for the South. “Our new store will serve as a resource for both outdoor enthusiasts and our non-profit partners that are working to inspire people to get outside and conserve the natural spaces where we all enjoy recreating."
Located along West Broad Street near I-64, the 26,500 square-foot, two-story location will offer the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling and travel, including the co-op’s award-winning REI and Novara products. The store will feature a bike shop where technicians will provide expert advice, assemblies and repairs, in addition to a gear rental department to encourage members and customers to explore new outdoor activities.
The company is committed to inspiring more people to get active in the outdoors with a special focus on educating youth on the benefits of a healthy, outdoor lifestyle. To support this commitment, the new store will host a number of programs, classes and events, with a variety of topics relevant for those new to the outdoors or more experienced adventurers. REI also offers two programs geared towards children specifically, including PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids), developed with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and Passport to Adventure.
REI members receive discounts on gear rentals, shop services and trips through REI Adventures, in addition to a share in the company’s profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. Based on the co-op’s 2008 sales, $72.7 million was distributed to 3.7 million active members through the annual dividend earlier this year. More information on REI memberships is available at www.rei.com/membership.
The co-op also partners with non-profit organizations through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions. Although the store is not opening until later this year, REI has already begun partnering with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay through a $10,000 grant to support its Urban Tree Canopy program and to assist in establishing an outdoor classroom program in Richmond. The co-op will also help recruit volunteers to enhance water quality and preserve wildlife habitat with the Alliance and other non-profit conservation and outdoor organizations in the area.
REI first entered Virginia in 1990 with its Bailey’s Crossroads store and opened an additional location in Fairfax in 2003.
The new store will begin hiring for approximately 40 positions in early September and will be looking for candidates who share a passion for the outdoors and quality customer service. Once hired, each person will take part in REI’s comprehensive sales and product training program, deepening their ability to be a knowledgeable resource for customers and the community. Information about positions at the store will be available soon at www.rei.com/jobs.
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI operates retail stores nationwide, two online stores – http://www.rei.com and http://www.REI-OUTLET.com – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. REI offers products from all of the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel, including its own line of award-winning outdoor gear and apparel. While anyone may join or shop at REI, members pay a one-time $20 fee and receive a share in the company’s profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. As an active supporter of the communities in which it does business, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.