Co-op employees and members,
As the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread throughout the communities where we all live and work, we have consistently looked for ways to help protect the health and safety of our employees and customers. Since our founding, REI has been about doing the right thing for our community.
After a great deal of careful consideration, we are temporarily closing our 162 retail stores nationwide starting tomorrow, March 16, through March 27. I believe that is the right thing for our community. In fact, I believe it is our duty—to do all we can to help keep one another safe in this unprecedented moment.
That also means all employees from our stores will be paid during this temporary closure. And, even with our stores closed, we will be working hard to do everything we can to continue to serve our customers. All orders through REI.com will get free shipping while our stores are closed. Customers who have questions about gear and local outdoor activities that they’d normally ask in our stores can get answers through our digital community, REI Conversations and Co-op Journal will feature articles that help people find ways to get outside even during these challenging times.
We’ve always been deliberate and transparent when making significant decisions about our business. This is a difficult decision for any business, and I do not make it lightly. Our decisions are grounded in the belief that there are more important things than business right now—we owe that to one another.
Know that we will continue to work closely with our teams and public health officials throughout the country to understand how to best serve your needs, and serve our customers as soon as local conditions allow. We’ll continue to share information with our members and employees as we move forward together into a future that’s hard to predict.
In the meantime, thank you for your understanding, your patience and, most of all, for being a part of this incredible community. The outdoors remains a vital part of all our lives, especially in moments like this.
Be well and take care of one another.
My very best,
President & CEO, REI Co-op
@TammyB Thanks for reaching out and thanks for the kind comments!
If you need to make a return at this time, please visit our Returns Instructions page to see how to facilitate your return while our stores are closed. You can also reach our Sales and Customer Service via email, live chat, or by phone at 1-800-426-4840. Please bear in mind that with heightened call volume at this time wait times on the phone are longer than normal.
The governor of Illinois issued a "stay at home order" from March 21 through April 7, and only "essential businesses" are allowed to remain open during this time. Will REI in Illinois still be reopening its doors on March 28 as planned, or will you be following government orders per state?
Like many others have expressed concern over, I have a very high-value item that I need to return sooner than later to avoid owing interest on my credit cards, and returned on March 28 vs April 8 will make a big difference to me financially during this crisis.
The REI customer service agent I spoke to today said that all stores will reopen on March 28 as far as she's been told. Can you please confirm this? The agent said that mail-in returns are backed up by at least three weeks right now, and she said there's no way to know at the moment when I would actually be refunded.
@delilahsmom as you can imagine, the situation is very dynamic and things are changing moment to moment all across the country. Our leadership team is constantly monitoring all local announcements and responding accordingly. At this moment, we are still planning to reopen store on March 28th, however there is always a chance that some or all of our stores will be delayed in opening beyond that date. We apologize that we cannot give a more concrete answer at this time and will provide updates as soon as we have them.
Regarding your return, our teams are working as quickly as possible to process all of the returns we have already received through the mail, however because the volume of these returns is higher than normal, there is the possibility of a delay in our processing time. We will continue to work as quickly as possible through this unprecedented time.
Thank you for your quick reply. Can you please post updates to the community as soon as your leadership team learns about any reopening delays?
Is it feasible to assign more REI employees to the processing of returns, as this is an obvious area needing improvement and of great concern to many loyal REI members?
@delilahsmom we will absolutely post updates to the community as soon as we have them (in addition to our other communication channels) - you have that commitment from us.
Please know that our leaders in all aspects of our business are shifting resources as best we can, absolutely including the processing of customer returns. As an example of this kind of shift, we've brought (virtually, of course) a bunch of our retail store managers from all around the country into this community to help answer customer questions as quickly as possible!
We do appreciate your support and patience while we work through this time.
Hi! I’m thankful that REI is taking care of their employees. I did have a question regarding the current sale. I recently purchased some items on March 11, 2020. I was wondering if I could still get a price adjustment, since they are currently on sale, but I can’t come in?
@Tparker517 we'd recommend calling our Customer Support team at 1-800-426-4840 to ask about a price adjustment; those folks are best positioned to help!
First off, thank you for doing your part by shutting down stores and paying employees, even before the states started clamping down.
I wanted to place an order online to be shipped to my home. While I'm NOT concerned about the virus being transmitted through the package, I am concerned with the safety and well being of the warehouse workers who are working next to each other and touching the same surfaces, exactly what should be avoided to prevent spreading the virus between them. Are you certain they are taking proper safety precautions?
I'm torn here because I want to support the business, but I also don't want to create demand for a decidedly non-essential item that might cause warehouse workers to be unnecessarily exposed because they are trying to meet that demand. Any advice?
@reast451 Thanks for the question.
During this time we are continuing our rigorous cleaning and sanitation efforts at our distribution centers as well as rolling out additional social distancing protocols in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We have also modified our paid time off policies to ensure that employees who are sick or caring for sick family members can more easily make the decision to stay home. Additionally, many our Sales & Customer Support team members are set-up to answer customer contacts from their homes.