REI Co-op to open new store at Midtown Tampa in Tampa, Florida on March 5, invest $10,000 in local community

New store will offer top quality outdoor gear, zero contact bike shop services and Buy Online, Pickup In Store capabilities

Feb 24, 2021

SEATTLE – REI Co-op will open its new store in Tampa Florida on March 5, offering a wide assortment of quality outdoor gear for hiking, camping, paddling and more. The new 23,000-square-foot store at Midtown Tampa will also offer Buy Online, Pickup In Store capabilities and zero-contact bike shop services. With nearly 325,000 lifetime members in state, REI Tampa will join the co-op’s four existing Florida stores including Jacksonville, Winter Park and its newly opened Gainesville and Boca Raton locations. 

“We are thrilled to join the community in Tampa and to better connect our local members to the places and activities they love,” said Cindy Smith, REI Tampa store manager. “Whether trying paddling for the first time or heading out on a familiar trail, we’ll have the gear and expertise our members need to get outside.” 

In lieu of in-person grand opening events or giveaways, the community is invited to celebrate the store virtually. Customers can visit the Tampa store page for updates. In addition, REI plans to invest a total of $10,000 in two local outdoor nonprofits, through a $5,000 grant to the Friends of Alafia and a second to Florida State Parks to support Hillsborough River State Park. REI has been part of the Florida outdoor community since first opening its Jacksonville store in 2013, and in 2019, REI invested more than $140,000 in local outdoor nonprofits in Florida. Each year, REI invests millions of dollars in nonprofits across the country that steward and maintain local trails, parks and public lands and connect people to the outdoors. 

REI Tampa will be open for in-store shopping with several health and safety protocols in place designed to maintain physical distance between customers and employees. This includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Operating on a reduced schedule and limiting the number of people in store. REI Tampa will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Customers may be asked to wait in line outside of the store to ensure proper distancing. 
  • Requiring employees and customers over the age of two to wear face coverings that align with CDC guidance. Disposable face coverings will be available for those who don’t have them. 
  • Socially distanced queuing at store entrances, footwear, cash registers and shop counters. 
  • Plexiglass shields at all registers. 
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures with thorough, frequent cleanings of high-touch surface areas. 

To help minimize wait times, customers are encouraged to plan ahead for the products they need. In addition to connecting with experts in store, REI’s Expert Advice series offers numerous resources for customers and members to learn new skills, choose the right gear and prepare for outdoor adventures. In addition, customers may schedule virtual outfitting appointments online to receive personalized, one-on-one service for things like hiking boot and running shoe fittings, cycling outfitting, and camping and backpacking outfitting from home. REI also offers virtual events to connect people to the outdoors. 

Editor’s note: For images of REI in-store shopping and safety protocols, click here. To download b-roll footage, click here

Tampa store facts: 

  • Location: Midtown Tampa, 1152 Assembly Drive 
  • Store hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday – Saturday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday 
  • Size: 23,000 square feet 
  • Special features and services: Bike shop with zero contact shop services; Buy Online, Pick Up In Store; virtual events and outfitting 
  • Number of employees: 52 
  • REI membership: Nearly 325,000 co-op members in Florida 
  • Existing Florida REI stores: Jacksonville (opened 2013), Winter Park (opened 2017), Gainesville (opened 2020), Boca Raton (opened 2020) 
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 more than 19 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 168 locations in 39 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.