REI Promotes 25-Year Veteran Rachel Ligtenberg to Vice President of Retail

In her new role, Ligtenberg adds Retail Operations to her current responsibilities of leading Store Design, Visual Merchandising and the co-op’s flagship strategy.

Sep 23, 2015

SEATTLE – National outdoor specialty retailer, REI, announces Rachel Ligtenberg’s promotion to vice president of Retail following a 25-year tenure with the co-op. In her new role, she adds Retail Operations to her current responsibilities of leading Store Design, Visual Merchandising and the co-op’s flagship strategy, and continues to report to Tim Spangler, senior vice president of Retail.

Ligtenberg will continue to enhance REI’s retail experience through new store design concepts to showcase its products, services and educational programs. The co-op currently operates 141 stores in 33 states, including four flagship locations in Seattle, Denver, Bloomington, Minn. and New York. REI’s fifth flagship location will open in the historic Uline Arena in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2016.

“Rachel is an inspiring leader and advocate for change, always pushing REI and our employees to connect with our members in richer ways,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI’s president and CEO. “She leads by collaborating with her teams, and has the expertise and passion to help the co-op create engaging in-store experiences.”

Ligtenberg joined the co-op after college as a sales associate in the Sacramento store. During her time at REI, she has impacted many parts of the business by leading marketing, merchandising and retail teams. She served as the general manager of the Seattle flagship store for seven years before becoming director of Visual Merchandising and later regional vice president of Retail.

Extending her reach beyond the co-op, Ligtenberg has volunteered for nonprofit boards and organizations focused on the outdoors, education and youth, Camp Fire and Passages Northwest. Committed to helping advance women’s leadership in the outdoor industry, she is also an active member of the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition, serving in her second year as a mentor.

For 18 consecutive years, REI has been recognized as one of FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Interested candidates can view retail jobs and apply online at

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.