REI Co-op to open new store in Billings, Montana on July 24, invests $10,000 in local community

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

Jul 16, 2020

SEATTLE – REI Co-op will open its new store in Billings, Montana on July 24 for limited in-store shopping, offering a wide assortment of quality outdoor gear for hiking, camping, mountain biking and paddling. The new 22,000-square-foot store was originally scheduled to open in the spring but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. REI Billings will also offer Buy Online, Pickup In Store and zero contact bike shop services. With more than 147,000 lifetime members in state, REI Billings marks the co-op’s fourth location in Montana, joining existing stores in Bozeman, Kalispell and Missoula.  

 

“We know our members in Billings have been long awaiting our arrival to the community, and we are thrilled to serve not only those in Billings, but members in the Western Dakotas and Northern Wyoming as well,” said Caryn Youngholm, REI Billings store manager. “We look forward to helping our community explore and connect with the incredible outdoor places this region has to offer.” 

 

In lieu of in-person grand opening events or giveaways, the community is invited to celebrate the store virtually. Customers can visit the Billings store page for updates. In addition, REI plans to invest $10,000 in local outdoor nonprofits, with grant recipients to be announced at a later date. REI has been part of the Montana outdoor community for 20 years since opening its Missoula store in 2000. In 2019, REI invested $73,000 in local outdoor nonprofits in Montana. Each year, REI invests millions in nonprofits across the country that steward and maintain local trails, parks and public lands and connect people to the outdoors.  

 

REI Billings will be open for in-store shopping with several health and safety protocols in place designed to maintain 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 Billings will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and 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. 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. In addition, REI is offering 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.  

 

Billings store facts:  

  • Location: 711 Henry Chapple Street  
  • Size: 22,000 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: 42 
  • REI membership: More than 147,000 co-op members in Montana  
  • Other Montana stores: Missoula (opened 2000), Bozeman (opened 2010), Kalispell (opened 2018)  
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, a global leader that runs more than 200 itineraries across all continents. In every community 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.