For the first time in the co-op’s 82-year history, REI hosted its annual member meeting Monday night online, inviting all members to hear from the co-op’s board and senior leadership team.
In his remarks, REI Co-op CEO and President Eric Artz spoke to the challenges facing the co-op in the current COVID-19 pandemic, identifying both what has changed and what has not.
“We still maintain the same values, and run our business based on a set of principles that have always guided us,” said Artz. “We are deeply committed to protecting outdoor spaces and combating climate change … to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace, and in access to the outdoors … to our philanthropic partners and the work we can do together to protect and preserve the outdoor spaces we all love … to our co-op—our employees, members and the communities we serve—and our belief that we can accomplish so much more collectively than we can as individuals.”
For more than eight decades, REI has been building a community of people who love the outdoors, and since the 2019 member meeting, REI has grown that community, adding more than 1 million new members. REI Chief Financial Officer Kelley Hall shared REI’s results from 2019 with $3.1 billion in revenue, 8% sales growth across digital and in-store offerings, and increased sales at brick and mortar stores by 3.5%. Hall also acknowledged the meaningful impact of current circumstances to the co-op’s business, noting an anticipated decrease in planned revenue of 35% for 2020.
Outgoing co-op board chair Steve Hooper announced the results of the recent board of directors elections, welcoming Gunjun Bhow and Ivy Chin as new directors, and recognized the re-election of Kari Glover, Ted Philip and Sharon Philpott to serve another term. Hooper also introduced Tony Truesdale as REI’s next board chair.
In his remarks to members in attendance, Truesdale noted, “as a co-op, REI is different than most retail businesses in many ways. The more successful we are in the operation of our business, the more impact we can have with our green vests, our members, society, and the communities we serve.”