SEATTLE – REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a national retailer providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, is introducing its outdoor expertise to two new communities by opening a store in San Antonio, Texas in the fall of 2012 and its first Florida location in Jacksonville in the spring of 2013.
REI sells the top brands of outdoor gear and apparel for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling and travel, including its award-winning REI brand and Novara bike products. The San Antonio location will occupy 27,500 square-feet at Huebner Oaks and the nearly 23,400 square-feet store in Jacksonville will be located at The Markets at Town Center. Both stores will offer expert assembly and repair services through bike shops and support to customers looking to test new outdoor activities through its seasonal gear rental departments.
“Texas and Florida offer an abundance of ways to enjoy the outdoors, and REI is eager to bring our quality products, helpful advice and hands-on classes to our current members and aspiring adventurers,” said Rachel Ligtenberg, REI’s regional vice president, East Region. “Through our expert employees, outdoor programming and local relationships, we want to inspire more people to live an active lifestyle.”
As part of its dedication to the outdoors, REI partners with nonprofit organizations in each of its communities that offer volunteer programs to restore and maintain local trails, parks and waterways. Last year, the company granted more than $4.2 million to nonprofits across the country. The new stores will extend similar partnerships to the San Antonio and Jacksonville communities and host outdoor-related classes, presentations and events through the stores’ community rooms.
The company currently operates 122 retail stores in 29 states with two online stores – rei.com and REI-OUTLET.com. The new store in San Antonio joins seven other REI stores in Texas, the first of which opened in Austin in 1989 and was later relocated in 1995. Other locations opening this fall include Cincinnati, Ohio, Woodbridge, Va. and Medford, Ore. A new store in Indianapolis, Ind. will open on March 16.
For each store, REI will recruit approximately 50 new employees who share a passion for the outdoors and a commitment to quality customer service. Information on open positions will be available online approximately three months prior to the stores’ openings at rei.jobs. REI has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America for 15 consecutive years, and most recently received its highest-ever ranking of number eight on the 2012 list.
While anyone may shop with REI, the company has more than four million active members and is the nation’s largest consumer cooperative. There are currently more than 7,700 active members residing in San Antonio and more than 3,100 active members in Jacksonville. Members pay a one-time $20 fee and receive a share in the company’s profits through an annual member refund each March based on their purchases from the previous year. Members also receive discounts on gear rentals, REI Adventures trips and REI Outdoor School classes.
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.