National outdoor retail cooperative, REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), announced today that retail and outdoor industry veteran Eric Artz will join the company as chief financial officer in May. Artz comes to REI from Urban Outfitters, Inc., a leading lifestyle specialty retail company operating under the Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN brands.
Artz has been at Urban Outfitters since early 2010. Prior to joining the Philadelphia-based company, he had a 17-year career with VF Corporation and several of its affiliates, including VF Contemporary Brands, which consists of 7 For All Mankind, Splendid and Ella Moss; and VF Outdoor, which includes brands such as The North Face, JanSport and Eagle Creek, among others. His roles have included CFO and executive-level oversight of divisional, corporate and international operations.
“REI is very fortunate to attract a CFO with Eric’s breadth and depth of experiences. In addition to his financial expertise, Eric has a deep understanding of multichannel retail, plus operations experience in supply chain, product development, sourcing and international. These skills, combined with his industry experience and passion for the outdoors, make him an exceptional addition to our team,” said Sally Jewell, REI president and CEO. “Eric’s experience with growth companies and his understanding of the systems, processes and financial management needed for thoughtful expansion will be invaluable to REI as we grow to meet the needs of our existing and future members and customers.”
REI is a national retailer of gear and clothing for outdoor activities and adventure. A multichannel retailer, REI operates 123 stores in 30 states with two leading outdoor e-commerce sites –http://www.rei.com and http://www.REI-OUTLET.com. The company recorded sales of more than $1.8 billion in 2011. In addition to national brands, REI exclusively sells private brand gear and apparel under the REI name, and bicycles, apparel and accessories under the Novara brand. The company also operates REI Adventures, a full-service adventure travel company with destinations across the United States and around the world. REI is structured as a consumer cooperative and while anyone may shop at REI, only members receive a share of the company’s profits. This month REI is issuing a total patronage refund of $99.8 million to 4.7 million active members based on their eligible 2011 purchases. Earlier this year, REI was recognized as 8th on the FORTUNE magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. This is the 15th consecutive year that REI has appeared in the ratings.