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Eric Artz: Reopening Our Stores

To our co-op community

I’m writing to share some good news. After two months of temporary closures, this week we will begin reopening our stores—just in time to celebrate our 82nd anniversary.  

In some places “opening” will mean curbside service for orders placed online. In others, our doors will open for a limited number of customers. In every case, we’ll be taking precautions for the health and safety of our employees, customers and communities. We’ll have health and safety procedures in place for our store teams, and clear guidance for you on how to shop or do curbside pickup. We’ll also be closely following guidance from national, state and local authorities to make sure we’re operating in compliance with any restrictions in your area.  

We have made significant progress in all of these areas over the last month, and we are ready to begin expanding services in many of our stores. Our hope and expectation is that more than half of our stores will be open for curbside pickup in time for our Anniversary Sale, May 15 - May 25, and a small number of stores will be open for in-store services as well.  

 You can find more details about your local store here 

We’re doing our part to make the curbside and in-store experience as safe as possible for everyone, and we need your help. When you come into our stores, our employees will be wearing face coverings, and we’re going to ask that you wear one too. It’s a simple thing that we can all do right now to take care of one another and, if you forget yours, we’ll have disposable face coverings available. 

For anyone who can’t make it to a store, we’ll keep doing our best to get you all the gear, expertise and inspiration you need through our digital channels. We’re offering all the great deals you’d expect during Anniversary Sale at REI.com. In the coming weeks, we’re also rolling out virtual events and gatherings for members, zero-contact shop services for bicycle maintenance at our stores, a virtual outfitting program and an improved returns process.  

Few things make us happier than serving our customers in our stores. The journey is far from over, but we are making progress, and we’re grateful for your support and understanding right now. To everyone who has reached out with a word of encouragement or has helped support local nonprofits through our Outdoor Emergency Fund, thank you.  

There is a spirit of togetherness that has defined your co-op for 82 years, and as we celebrate our anniversary, I’m reminded that right now it’s more important than ever. Be well and take care.   

My best, 

Eric Artz 

President and CEO, REI Co-op

 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
118 Replies

Thank you. Any idea when the Minneapolis (Bloomington, MN) Flagship will reopen for curbside pickup since the local unrest? Hope all staff stayed safe throughout the trying time. Looking forward to escaping it all, but need a few things from REI 🙂

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@keen thanks for reaching out about our Bloomington store, and for the well wishes. All REI stores are currently closed through Wednesday, June 3. We will assess local conditions at that time and provide an update on local store pages for hours and service offerings.  We are still processing online orders, if you wanted to instead have your items shipped directly to you!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Why the sudden change in plans?  My local REI was open for a few hours yesterday then closed early.  Now all REI stores are closed for the next two days.  Just wondering what the reasoning is for the extended two-day closure.

Thank you!

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@CO_MTBer thanks for reaching out. Due to rapidly changing conditions around the country, all REI stores are currently closed through Wednesday, June 3. As people around the world continue to stand up and speak out against systemic racism and violence against the Black community, we are reminded that property can be replaced, but people can't. Read our statement here.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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I hope I'm not coming off as especially insensitive, but does this actually mean anything? This is such vague language, what exactly are the concerns? What are the rapidly changing conditions in precise language?

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Civil unrest nationwide.  At least one REI store has been vandalized and looted (Santa Monica, CA).  Not a good time for retail establishments

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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So why are they so hesitant from saying that directly? Regardless, the store I'm nearest to is 1.5k miles away from Santa Monica. That seems like a very broad response to a relatively localized issue. The retail establishments in this area are not at risk for collateral damage to the same degree. I suppose they're closing in order to run risk assessment on a case by case basis? I just question the lack of transparency over what exactly is going on.

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@PlanoConvexEarth thanks for following up. As we continue to prioritize employee and customer safety, we chose to close our stores June 2-3 due to unpredictable conditions all around the country near many of our stores. While not every specific location was directly at risk, there were other factors, like changing curfews, under consideration. We apologize if our original answer created any confusion, and also for any inconvenience this closure may have caused. As we begin to reopen stores, we are encouraging customers to check their local REI store pages.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Local store pages now don't have the COVID or the local unrest banners, yet it is still marked Temporarily Closed. Is there any more info than the generic copy & paste answer? Would love to know when to be able to expect to do curbside pickup. Thank you. Some of the frustration in this thread I don't think is directed at the fact that the stores are closed—I think it's more that there's zero information and timeline that we can look at and be able to plan around.

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@keen thanks for your follow-up question and explanation behind your frustration. Because there has been so much variability across the country, we have chosen to not share specific timelines about future services/openings at any given location; we are sorry for this inconvenience. We are using our local store pages as the best place for customers to check what services are currently available at any given location. With all of that said, we do anticipate that our Minneapolis area stores will have curbside pickup available again beginning tomorrow (6/5), adding the caveat that there is always a possibility that this could change at the last minute. If you decide to visit one of these stores tomorrow, we would encourage a quick check of the local store page to ensure nothing has shifted. We hope this helps.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.