REI will expand into South Carolina this fall

Posted By: The Ski Channel on April 27, 2011 5:00 pm

REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a national retailer providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a new store in Greenville, S.C. this fall.  Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

“REI is excited to partner with the Greenville community to help take care of local trails, parks and waterways to ensure they are available for future generations to enjoy,” said Gail Kirkland, REI retail director for the South district. “With easy access to the Appalachians and a community of people who love outdoor activities, Greenville is a natural match for REI.”

The new store will also feature a community space for REI and its local partners to hold outdoor-related classes, presentations and events. Each year, REI partners with nonprofit organizations in each of its communities that work to restore and maintain natural spaces through active volunteerism. In 2010, the company granted $3.7 million to more than 320 nonprofits through its locally driven grants program and partnered with numerous other organizations through event support, promotions and gear rentals.

Located at the intersection of I-85 and Woodruff Road, REI Greenville will offer the top brands of outdoor gear and apparel for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling and travel products, including its own award-winning REI brand and Novara bike products. The one-story, approximately 22,000 square-foot store will house a bike shop for quick assemblies and repairs, and a seasonal gear rental department for customers looking to test new activities.

Although it operates as a consumer cooperative, anyone may shop at REI. Members pay a one-time $20 fee and receive a share in the company’s profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. Earlier this year, $94.3 million in annual refunds was distributed to more than 4.4 million active members based on the co-op’s 2010 sales. REI members also receive discounts on gear rentals, in addition to trips and classes offered through REI Adventures and REI Outdoor School.

The new store in Greenville will be the first REI location in South Carolina. The company’s next closest REI is currently located in Asheville, N.C. REI operates 114 retail stores nationwide and two online stores, rei.com and REI-OUTLET.com, and will open eight new stores by the end of the year.

For 14 consecutive years, REI has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.” Hiring for the new store will occur approximately three months prior to the opening, where REI will recruit approximately 50 employees who share a passion for the outdoors and a commitment to quality customer service. Employment information will be available at www.rei.com/jobs.

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