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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.

11 Replies

To get to the Soho store from Yonkers requires either an hour of driving (the store is on Houston almost exactly halfway between the major roads on the east and west sides of the island) and, most likely, about $50 for parking; or a 10 minute drive to commuter rail, a wait for a commuter rail train, a half-hour commuter rail ride, and about 20 minutes on the subway from Grand Central to Broadway-Lafayette.

It's definitely a longer trip than Paramus by car.

Unfortunately, REI's made two unsuccessful forays into Westchester (there was a store in New Rochelle in the 1990s) with the result, really, only of killing off a smaller chain (EMS) and some local stores.  The REI stores are nice while they last but I wish they'd show some more commitment to the customers they leave with no local alternative when they pull out.

It is not actually possible to correctly fit a backpack or a sleeping bag over the Internet, I regret to say.

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I would like to add to the sentiment in this thread - fixed my password and username just to write this post - the Yonkers location will be sorely missed until another store opens in the area.

very very bummed to find out the news today when I was searching up the store to call and schedule a checkup on my bike. Now how am I to get my one free re-inspection on the bike I’ve been breaking in :’(

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