REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a retail co-op providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to relocate from its current location in Missoula, Mont. to Grant Creek Town Center in the spring of 2010.
For the new store, the co-op is leasing more than 27,000 square feet, which will more than double the size of the current REI store, which is located at Northgate Plaza and has served members and customers since 2000. The company offers the top brands of outdoor gear and apparel, including the co-op’s award-winning REI and Novara lines. The larger location will allow REI to enhance its current product assortment with bikes, skis, snowboards, children’s apparel, and a paddling department. In addition, the new store will feature a bike/ski shop where technicians will provide quick assemblies or repairs, and a gear rental department to make it easy for members and customers to explore new outdoor activities .
“For 10 years, REI has been a resource for local outdoor enthusiasts and partner to non-profits in the community,” said Sean Kissane, REI Missoula store manager. “By adding new departments and a bigger selection of products, we have an amazing opportunity to better support the diverse outdoor activities that Missoulians enjoy every day.”
REI will hire approximately 12 new employees for the new Missoula store, recruiting candidates that share a passion for the outdoors and quality customer service. Once hired, each new team member 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. More information about employment opportunities will be available at rei.jobs.
Across the nation, the company is committed to increasing participation in outdoor recreation and stewardship. As part of this commitment, REI partners with local non-profits in its communities through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions. In the past five years, the co-op has provided nearly $105,000 of support to 19 local non-profits in Montana as a result of nominations from the Missoula store. The new store will continue these efforts and host outdoor-related classes, events and presentations by REI and its non-profit partners.
While anyone may 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. Based on the co-op’s 2008 sales, $72.7 million was distributed to more than 3.7 million active members through the dividend program last year. The company will announce 2009 sales and dividend figures in February.
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 is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.