Dear fellow REI members:
Thanks to the patronage and support of REI members in 2012, we are pleased to return a dividend of $104 million to 5.1 million active co-op members, representing 10% of their eligible purchases.
In 2012 REI redoubled its support of members by focusing on offering compelling outdoor products, service that is seamless across our stores, websites and call center, and inspirational experiences in the great outdoors. We are committed to continually improving our ability to serve you, earning your patronage today and well into the future.
The co-op delivered some exciting products in 2012, developed by our own REI Private Brand team. These included an update of our popular REI Flash Pack and Outside Magazine “Gear of the Year” award-winner, the new Igneo down sleeping bag. The Igneo features an innovative waterproof-breathable shell to help manage damp conditions and condensation. In cycling, the Novara Gotham bike provides a great way to navigate the city with exciting new technology that includes a carbon belt drive for smooth shifting and virtually maintenance-free performance. The new REI Flex Lite chair was a runaway hit and featured a breakthrough frame technology for a packable chair that can be used from trail, to camp, to outdoor concert.
New REI stores opened to support co-op members in Indianapolis, IN; Woodbridge, VA; Medford, OR; Cincinnati, OH; and San Antonio, TX; while our SoHo store enjoyed a great first year of serving co-op members in the heart of Manhattan. All REI stores added digital mobile selling assistants in 2012, which allows customers to check out from anywhere in the store, adding convenience and saving time and we will continue to add functionality to these devices to better serve you. Through new stores, new technology and continuous improvement in execution, our team is working hard to deliver the right product in the right place at the right time to support your outdoor adventures.
Many members simply find strolling through an REI store to be inspiration enough to begin planning their next adventure, but we know that sometimes a guide is needed to try a new activity. A variety of REI Outdoor School classes are available in every REI store, or you can join an experienced Outdoor School instructor for hands-on learning in the great outdoors. One of our most popular classes in 2012 was our Zombie Preparedness Class, providing a fun way to help people engage in the serious topic of emergency preparedness.
As stewards of your co-op, we are committed to operating in a socially responsible manner in all that we do. We continue to seek ways to reduce our energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of waste we send to landfills, while measuring the impact of our products. We engage employees, members and community volunteers in projects to support stewardship of our public lands, helping maintain and improve over 54,000 miles of trails and 94,000 acres of local parks and public recreational spaces in 2012. This important work is outlined in our annual stewardship report. In 2013 your co-op will continue this vital work, contributing more than $3 million to care for the outdoor places members use and love, while building deep and enduring connections to nature.
On behalf of 11,000 employees, thank you for making 2012 a successful year and for making REI your choice for outdoor gear and experiences. Your co-op is dedicated to understanding and meeting your needs now and in the years ahead.
I look forward to seeing you on the trail.
President and CEO (2005-2013)
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