REI Member Meeting 2018: Celebrating 80 Years of Passion for the Outdoors


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REI hosted its annual member meeting on May 7 at the Seattle Flagship store. Members had the opportunity to hear from REI leadership and board of directors about the health of the business and the ways REI is continuing to have a positive impact and inspire outdoor experiences.

Since its founding in 1938, REI has worked to awaken a lifelong love for the outdoors in members. Today, nearly 80 years later, the co-op has grown from 23 climbing friends to a community of more than 17 million members. And while it may seem that a lot has changed over the last 80 years, the co-op’s mission and core beliefs remain the same.

REI was founded on a “phenomenal sense of community,” said REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke, as he reflected on the humble beginnings of the co-op. “People doing life outside together still resonates today, and we have a strong passion for a life lived outside.”

This passion is evident in the co-op’s successes in the last year. In 2017, the co-op reported $2.62 billion in sales, led hundreds of companies in defending our national public lands, and inspired and equipped thousands of members—of all political persuasions—to share their love of outdoor places directly with the federal government. The co-op also launched its Force of Nature initiative to promote gender equality in the outdoors and spurred more than 8 million #OptOutside moments on Black Friday. In addition, REI invested $8.8 million in nonprofit partners to steward more than 1,000 outdoor places across the country and launched product sustainability standards, which provide a platform for collective action in elevating sustainability practices across the industry.

To see more highlights from the annual meeting and the ways REI is building the co-op for the future you can watch the recording.