REI Co-op set to open first store in Maine; invests $20,000 in local community
Three-day grand opening celebration with giveaways, music, outdoor gear vendors and local partners
Nov 4, 2021
REI Co-op is celebrating the opening of its first store in Maine, offering top-quality gear appropriate for the wide range of outdoor activities the area offers. Located within the Rock Row development in the Westbrook community, the 24,000 square-foot location will also feature a bike, ski, and snowboard shop staffed with certified mechanics to tune or repair equipment.
REI Westbrook officially opens its doors on Friday, November 12. REI giveaways will be offered each morning, while supplies last. The store will open at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, REI will host outdoor vendors and local partners from 2 to 6 p.m. each afternoon. Participating nonprofits will be Bike Coalition of Maine, Maine Outdoor Brands, NEMBA Portland, and Portland Wheelers.
“The outdoor community has encouraged us to open in Maine for many years,” said Jr Janda, REI Westbrook store manager. “We’re proud to join a community in which there are so many shared values, starting with our mutual passion for creating a more inclusive outdoor culture so that everyone feels welcome outside."
REI is the country’s largest consumer co-op, with 20 million lifetime members. While anyone is welcome to shop and tap into the company’s resources in support of an active lifestyle, members enjoy a range of benefits. Perks include an online used gear trade-in program in exchange for REI gift cards; discounts on experiences, classes, rentals and shop services; a share of the co-op’s annual profits based on qualifying purchases; and more. Prior to the opening of REI Westbrook, more than 47,000 people in the state were lifetime co-op members.
Each year, REI invests millions of dollars in local nonprofit organizations to steward trails, waterways and parks and connect people to the outdoors. As REI approached opening its doors in the community, $20,000 in total was invested into two nonprofits: Bike Coalition of Maine and Portland Trails.
The store will have health and safety protocols in place designed to maintain physical distance between customers and employees. This includes:
- Limiting the number of people in store. Customers may be asked to wait in line outside the store to ensure proper distancing. REI Westbrook will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
- Employees are required to wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status. Per guidance from the Maine CDC, persons in counties with “substantial” or “high” levels of COVID-19 community transmission are advised to wear face coverings in public indoor settings.
- Socially distanced queuing at store entrances, footwear, cash registers and specialty shop counters.
- Plexiglass shields at all registers.
- Enhanced cleaning procedures with thorough, frequent cleanings of high-touch surface areas.
For those not able to visit an REI store, online resources are available. Anyone may schedule virtual outfitting appointments to receive personalized, one-on-one fit services and how-to’s for a wide range of activities. REI's Expert Advice library offers numerous resources for customers and members to learn new skills, choose the right gear and prepare for outdoor adventures.
While REI Westbrook will be the co-op’s first location in Maine, REI has been part of the New England outdoor community since opening its first location in Reading, MA in 1987. Recent New England store openings include Cambridge, MA (opened 2021), North Conway, NH (opened 2019), and Williston, VT (opened 2019).
Throughout the hiring process, the co-op has welcomed over 40 new team members with a passion for the local outdoors. A few part-time and full-time positions are still available, interested candidates can apply at REI.com/jobs
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 20 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 174 locations in 41 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.