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Re: A eulogy for REI Yonkers

I recently learned that REI Yonkers will permanently close in Feb 2021. I’m sad to hear this news, and I’d like to take a moment to describe why.

Since the day this location has opened, I have felt grateful that REI is in my neighborhood. REI is my family’s favorite shopping destination, and we never fail to visit it when we visit Ridge Hill. My children took their bicycle riding lessons with your staff at Sprain Ridge Park next door. When a winter storm was approaching last week, I stopped by to stock up on gloves for myself and my kids. (REI Guide Gloves for me, working great!)

When the Yonkers location closes, I don’t know what my alternative is. The next closest location is Paramus NJ, only 11 miles away as the crow flies but this is actually a significant journey from Westchester. To reach it I must cross the Hudson River via the busiest bridge in the world, pay a $12 toll, and fight traffic in both directions. Then, for extra fun, all stores in Paramus are closed on Sundays. Realistically this means Paramus is a whole-family trip that I can perform one day per week - Saturdays - if at all.

There aren’t other stores around here like REI. No outdoor outfitters. Realistically my next best option is Campmor, but they are also in Paramus! Ha ha!

I would be happy to travel to any location in Westchester county, or even Rockland county across the Tappan Zee bridge. Are you considering another location in the area? I’m guessing not until COVID is behind us. The Yonkers store location always seemed inspired to me, with the county park right next door that has technical MTB trails! Oh, if only we could have ridden straight from the store to those trails. But a path was never opened in the fence and I’m guessing that the county didn’t approve of this plan. What a shame.

I plan to remain a loyal REI member but you are leaving my community. I’m sorry to see you go. Please come back, or at least somewhere nearby.

9 Replies

There is always mail order.  I was a satisfied and supplied REI customer for over 20 years before I ever walked into a retail REI store. Return, exchange, and presale consultation is even easier now.

I enjoy the retail REI store experience, but it isn't absolutely necessary. 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
Hi @mattkangas - Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing the impact the Yonkers store had on you and your family's outdoor experiences. Please know that we are dedicated to our members in this region and will continue to look for opportunities to best serve you all. While we know the in-store experience can be a unique and special one, we do offer virtual outfitting appointments with the same friendly green vests you see in our stores; free shipping on orders over $50; and this community, where you can connect with other outdoor enthusiasts for advice and inspiration. In addition to those resources, we look forward to the times when you and your family can make the trip to visit us in one of the co-op's six locations in the region.
 
Thanks again for your loyalty to the Co-op and for sharing these memories with us!
At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi @REI-CarterC , thanks for replying. I am fortunate enough that I will be able to occasionally visit the Flagship store in Soho once COVID passes and offices reopen. However, your phrase "one of the co-op's six locations in the region" seems to count the closing Yonkers location and overlook geographic realities of my region. Norwalk CT and Paramus NJ are about the same drive-time at 45min-1hr in typical conditions. Carle Place is closer as the crow flies but is effectively inaccessible (on an island, separated by a city). And the Flagship Store is inaccessible by car.

There are roughly 1 M people in Westchester County, NY and many more further north in the Hudson Valley. Please come back to us some year! Until then, please keep REI healthy in all regards and I guess mail order is mostly what I'll be doing.

I just learned that the Pittsburgh, PA Settlers Ridge store is also closing. At least the Pittsburgh Southside store is only a few more miles away.  Is Paramus closer to you than the Manhattan Flagship store? I wonder how many other REI locations will be closing and if it is attributable only to COVID19 or if there are other issues.

aka "Boonerelli"


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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@John 

At this time the Settler's Ridge and Yonkers stores are the only locations closing. We regularly assess our store locations and customer needs and have made the decision regarding those stores. This closure is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic and in no way reflects the health of the co-op at large – in fact, REI has opened seven new stores this year in addition to piloting two used gear pop-up stores.

We appreciate your concern, and for being a long-time member (and former employee!) of our co-op! 

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

I want to echo Matt’s sentiments. Your Yonkers store will  be sorely missed. As he pointed out Westchester & the Bronx are located in a place which makes getting to your other  locations difficult and time consuming. It took me years to get my husband into outdoor activities and it was going into your store a few years ago before a trip to hike the Inca Trail in his native Peru that got him interested. He and I loved going in there and loved your staff who were knowledgeable and friendly —they talked him into an OruKayak last season which has launched us on an amazing new journey with outdoor adventures —this would not have happened online. 
we sincerely hope it was an issue with ridge hill overhead and as commercial rents should drop soon we hope you will open a new location somewhere in Westchester or the Bronx 

NJ/CT/Brooklyn & Manhattan while not far “geographically” are all highly inconvenient transportation wise. The Ridge Hill location was a dream for us and hope you will consider another location in our area —white plains/eastchester or even one of the many strip malls off central Ave or a property connecting to the south county bike trail finally fully connecting to the Bronx —there are lots of warehouse like properties along here in the Elmsford area 
Until then we will mourn the loss.

@mattkangas  I feel your pain

but 2 things come to mind, I read somewhere that REI failed to make a profit in 2020,

and this (apologies in advance)

So your alien had a room at the Holiday Inn, Paramus?” this line always cracks me up!

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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I concur!! I shopped more regularly at REI once I became familiar with the Yonkers store. It became my go to when I was in town. As for shopping online, Some things you just can’t mail order! Guess this leaves me out. 

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You should be able to get the flagship store in soho (Manhattan) in the same amount of time if not faster than the one in NJ, and without the toll. I hate the GW bridge. 

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