REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.),a national retailer of quality outdoor gear and apparel, today announced 2009 sales of $1.46 billion, up slightly from $1.43 billion the previous year. Operating income in 2009 was $100.6 million, an increase of 37 percent over $73.6 million in 2008. Net income in 2009 was $29.8 million, up 106 percent from $14.5 million in the previous year. The company’s direct sales channel, which includes online and catalog sales, grew by nearly 5 percent, while comp store sales declined by 3.5 percent, outperforming an expected 5 percent decline.
“I am exceptionally proud of the work of our employees in producing these strong results,” said Sally Jewell, REI’s CEO and president. “In the most difficult economic conditions we’ve ever experienced, our teammates drove profitable growth, returning the co-op to greater health and stability.”
The nation’s largest consumer cooperative, REI shares its profits with its members in proportion to their eligible purchases and strives to return 10 percent to members through an annual patronage refund. Based on the co-op’s 2009 performance, more than $80 million in patronage refunds will be distributed by mail to 3.9 million active members the third week of March, 2010. While anyone may shop at REI’s 110 stores and at REI.com, only members may share in the co-op’s profits. In addition, REI Visa card holders will receive $32 million in rebates from purchases using their REI Visa cards made during last year. As a result, more than $112 million will be returned to REI customers, an all-time high.
The co-op’s success in 2009 will also benefit the communities where REI has retail stores. The co-op’s business success in 2009 will allow it to donate $3.7 million to non-profit organizations that work to conserve outdoor spaces and increase opportunities to get outside, especially for young people.
During 2009, REI opened five new stores in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, and New Jersey, and has announced plans to open three additional stores in 2010. REI invested over $40 million in capital investments in 2009, nearly half of that was for significant systems improvements.
REI’s Gear and Apparel brand continued to earn awards from key reviewers in 2009, including top awards for sleeping bags from National Geographic Adventure, Women’s Adventure, and Camping Life magazines, luggage in Outside magazine, and a pack award from Backpacker magazine. In addition, for the 13th consecutive year, the co-op was named to FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.
REI is a national outdoor retailer 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 outdoor equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.
EDITOR’S NOTE: REI’s condensed consolidated balance sheets and statements of income for 2008 and 2009 can be viewed at http://www.rei.com/pdf/aboutrei/2009REIFinancialStatements.pdf .