A Message to Our Customers

Oct 6, 2011

We’ve been listening closely to your comments and concerns and fully appreciate the request that we clarify our practices. Thank you for your patience waiting for our response as we continued to look into this.

Customer safety—especially where children are involved—is paramount in our stores. Whenever we receive a customer concern about safety, we take it seriously. We investigate it thoroughly from all sides, which we are doing in this case. In full transparency, we have not had an opportunity to speak directly with the customer since the incident, but have made that request.

To date, based upon our investigation, which includes reviewing relevant video footage, we have found no evidence to suggest that a man entered the women’s restroom on the date in question. As a co-op, we are owned by our members and so we focus huge energy on ensuring that experiences in our stores are overwhelmingly positive.

On the subject that is being discussed in this thread, we want to clarify that when you visit an REI store, you will see that we have bathrooms designated as men’s and women’s, as required by California state law. Our practice is–-and has always been—to comply with applicable state law in all of our store locations.

The disagreement between the customer and our staff was not consistent with a usual experience in REI and we have asked to speak with the customer to understand how we could improve our service in the future. As we have said before, however, the customer was not asked to leave the store and she is welcome to come back at any time.

Our members and customers are the heart of the co-op and we look forward to continuing to serve them on their outdoor adventures.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 24 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. If you can’t visit one of our many stores, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. Everyone is welcome to shop REI, but members who join the co-op enjoy a range of benefits. More than a retailer, REI is a purpose-driven and values-led company dedicated to enabling life outside for all.