Eric Artz: Actions We Are Taking Around the Coronavirus

Editor’s note on March 15, 2020: After a great deal of careful consideration, we are temporarily closing our retail stores nationwide. Learn more about that decision. Please consult the CDC or your state health department for advice related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on symptomstesting and how to protect yourself and others.

To Our Co-op Community: 

The health and safety of our co-op community is our highest priority. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the country, I wanted to share some of the actions REI is taking to help protect both you and our employees. 

As this situation continues to evolve, we will closely monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials around the country. We will continue to rely on their recommendations and expertise to inform our decisions.  

As a result, we are:  

  • Increasing the frequency and rigor of cleaning and sanitization in all of our retail stores, distribution centers and office environments;  
  • Based on the guidance we’ve received and the actions we’ve taken, our stores remain open for business—as do, REI Outlet and REI Adventures. And in our stores, we’re doing all we can to make sure you feel safe, comfortable and welcome 
  • We are updating terms for cancellations and refunds for all REI events, activities and adventure travel programs to provide members and customers greater flexibility in making decisions that are best for them, without incurring financial penalties;  
  • We have modified our paid time off policies to ensure that our employees—including hourly retail employees—who miss work due to illness or to care for sick family members do not suffer loss of income or other benefits.

All of us at REI understand that this issue is cause for concern to many, and we offer our deepest sympathies to those who have already been affected. Rest assured that as circumstances continue to developone thing will remain the same: We will make our decisions with the health and well-being of our members, customers, employees and communities as our highest priority.  

My best, 

Eric Artz
President & CEO, REI Co-op