SEATTLE - REI, a national retailer of quality outdoor gear and apparel, today announced record 2012 sales of $1.93 billion, up 7.4 percent from $1.80 billion the previous year. Operating income was $136.6 million, up from $133.2 million in 2011. Net income for the year was $29.0 million, down from $30.2 million in 2011.
The country’s largest consumer cooperative, REI welcomed nearly 848,000 new members in 2012, ending the year with over 5 million active members.
REI members share in the co-op’s profits through an annual patronage refund in proportion to their eligible purchases. Based on the co-op’s 2012 performance, a record $104.6 million of patronage refunds were distributed to REI members. REI welcomes and serves all outdoor enthusiasts but only members share in the co-op’s profits.
According to the company, comparable sales increased 4.1 percent inclusive of direct to consumer sales as investments in the direct to consumer business produced record traffic and sales results. New and non-comparable store sales exceeded company expectations and brought REI to 13 new markets across the country since May 2011.
Company profitability was dampened by pressure on gross margins, primarily due to two consecutive challenging winter weather years. The company reported that late arriving winter weather at December’s end helped clear inventories and positioned the company for a positive start to 2013.
Company highlights for the year included:
2012 REI Highlights
REI opened new retail locations in 2012 in Castleton, Ind.; San Antonio, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Woodbridge, Va.; and Medford, Ore. As of year-end 2012, REI operated 127 stores in 31 states.
FORTUNE magazine has ranked REI as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 16 consecutive years, with the co-op holding a number 17 spot on the 2013 list.
REI brand products earned national recognition from key reviewers, including seven products that were featured in Backpacker Magazine’s 2012 Gear Guide. The REI Igneo sleeping bag was highlighted in Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year issue and the iconic REI Kingdom 8 tent was awarded with a 2012 Editors’ Choice in the Outdoor Gear Lab while the REI Pinnacle 35 pack won an Editors’ Choice award from Urban Climber. REI products and our cycling brand, Novara, offer outdoor products that combine high performance, value and innovation and they are available exclusively at REI.
REI Adventures, the co-op’s travel company, takes adventurers and families to explore outdoor destinations on seven continents and 40 countries. In 2012 REI Adventures departed 1,200 trips and served more than 8,100 clients. Among the offerings, the REI Adventures’ Machu Picchu / Galapagos Multisport trip was selected as one of seven trips named to the “Hall of Fame” list in Outside Magazine’s 2012 Travel Awards issue. In addition, the Torres Del Paine Volunteer Vacation made National Geographic Traveler magazine’s list of the Top “50 Tours of a Lifetime.”
Last year, REI donated $4 million to national and community-based nonprofit organizations focused on engaging volunteers in conserving local natural spaces. REI’s financial support made possible more than 300 projects and nearly 400,000 volunteer hours of care for outdoor spaces. Since 1976, REI has provided more than $41 million of financial support to local and national non-profit organizations working on stewardship and outdoor recreation causes.
REI’s commitment to understanding and addressing its operating impact on the environment continued to show strong progress in 2012. For the year the co-op reduced its energy consumption by 0.2 percent, greenhouse gas emissions by 7.6 percent, and tons of waste to landfill by 1.4 percent compared with 2011, while the co-op continued to grow and expand.
REI expanded its Outdoor School program to every REI store in the country. As the national leader in outdoor education, Outdoor School is offering thousands of offerings of 318 unique classes and outings across the country to help engage and prepare people for outdoor adventure. Classes range from How to Ride a Bike to Introduction to Rock Climbing and outings include such activities as snowshoeing, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding.
REI is a $2 billion national multichannel retail co-op headquartered outside of Seattle, Wash. With more than 5 million active members, REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers through innovative, quality products; inspiring classes and trips; and integrated customer service that allows shoppers to buy great gear and clothing in any way they want. REI has 129 stores in 32 states, as well as REI.com and REI.com/outlet. This year REI will invest $3 million in local communities to help care for outdoor spaces.
EDITOR’S NOTE: REI’s audited consolidated financial statements for 2012 and 2011 can be viewed at rei.com.