R E I Anchorage store front architectural rendering.

REI Co-op to relocate Anchorage store to Midtown Mall in 2019 just off Seward Highway

New location will continue offering top-quality outdoor gear and experiences, with more parking and an ideal location for adventurers on their way to Denali National Park.

Jul 10, 2018

REI Co-op is moving its Anchorage store from its current location in the Northern Lights Center to a completely refreshed space with an open layout in the newly remodeled Midtown Mall, formerly known as the Mall at Sears, in early 2019. REI will occupy the former Carrs-Safeway location, which is currently being remodeled. The 50,000 square-foot space will continue to offer quality outdoor gear; a full-service bike, ski and snowboard shop; and outdoor experiences with REI Outdoor School. In addition, the new location will offer increased parking for cars, indoor parking for bikes and better access to the Seward Highway for customers on their way to Denali National Park or the Kenai Peninsula.

"REI has been in Anchorage for nearly 40 years, and we have continued to grow as this community has grown. We've undergone numerous expansions in our current space and are excited to move to a location that can further support our commitment to life outdoors for Alaskans and all of our visiting adventurers," said Mike Herzog, REI Anchorage store manager, who has more than 30 years with the co-op. "We were instrumental in helping rebuild and improve the Spenard neighborhood, and much of the community here has grown around us. Our goal is to do the same through our new location in the Midtown Mall."

The new location in Midtown will feature a dedicated space for REI Outdoor School programs, which serve to educate and inspire outdoor experiences. As a national leader in outdoor experiences, more than 375,000 people across the country joined REI Outdoor School last year to paddle, bike, camp, climb and more.

REI has a long history in Anchorage, first opening a catalog store in 1979 to better serve its Alaska members who often faced unique shipping challenges. Less than a year later, demand from REI members in Alaska increased to the point that the co-op expanded to a full retail location in 1980. At that time, REI Anchorage was just the co-op's fifth store in the United States. REI moved to its current location in the Northern Lights Center in 1990 and opened a store in Fairbanks in 2014. Today, the co-op has more than 215,000 members across the state.

Over the last 40 years, the co-op has invested in the Anchorage outdoor community. REI stewardship grants helped build the Flattop Mountain Trail, expand the city's bike trail system and make the Spenard neighborhood more bike and pedestrian-friendly. In addition, REI has partnerships with the Friends of the Eagle River Nature Center, Singletrack Advocates and Alaska Geographic. In 2017, REI invested a total of $76,000 in the Alaska outdoor community.

Editor's note: Currently, REI's new location in the Midtown Mall is being remodeled, with designs by local architect firm ECI Alaska. The new design will add improved landscaping, including a pocket park, and seek to repurpose original construction materials where possible. To download renderings of the new space, click here.

REI announced its arrival to the Anchorage community in the 1978 member catalog. To download this original announcement, click here.

Store facts

  • Current Location: 1200 W. Northern Lights Boulevard
  • New Location: Midtown Mall at 500 E. Northern Lights Boulevard. REI will occupy the former Carrs-Safeway location.
  • Square footage: 50,000 square feet
  • Special features: Bike, ski and snowboard shop; indoor parking for bikes; pocket park
  • Open date: Early 2019
  • REI members in Alaska: Over 215,000

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 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 188 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI 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.