Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a retail co-op providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a new store in Norwalk, Conn. in the fall of 2010.
Located at 189 Connecticut Avenue , the new store will offer the top brands of camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel products, including the co-op’s own award-winning REI brand and Novara bike products. The one-story, more than 24,000 square-foot location will feature a bike shop for quick assemblies or repairs, and gear rental department to explore new outdoor activities . “
As an outdoor retailer, we are committed to helping connect more people to nature through recreational and stewardship opportunities,” said Anne Maleady, REI retail director for the Northeast district. “By deepening our relationships with customers and organizations in Connecticut, we hope to introduce more people to the wonders of the outdoors and ensure there are places to enjoy 100 years from now and beyond.”
REI partners with local outdoor and conservation organizations in each of its communities through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions. As part of this commitment, the co-op has granted the Norwalk River Watershed Association $5,000 to support volunteer recruitment for trail improvements along the Norwalk River. The funds will also help to develop and purchase project materials for natural restoration activities and signage, as well as to publish updated trail maps. REI Norwalk will build upon these efforts by partnering with local organizations.
The new store will be the second REI in Connecticut, joining a location in West Hartford, Conn., which opened in 2007. The co-op currently operates 110 retail stores nationwide, two online stores – http://www.rei.com and http://www.REI-OUTLET.com – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. 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. In 2009, $72.7 million was distributed to more than 3.7 million active members through the dividend program based on the co-op’s 2008 sales. REI members also receive discounts on gear rentals and trips offered through REI Adventures.
Hiring for Norwalk will occur approximately three months prior to the store’s opening, where REI will recruit approximately 50 employees who 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 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 is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.