REI - Where outdoor adventures are born
REI is a private retail corporation that is also uniquely a consumer cooperative. Headquartered in Kent, Washington, the company specializes in outdoor gear, clothing and footwear for men, women and children. All merchandise is backed by a 100% guarantee, a testament to the company’s mission to provide excellent gear at low prices. Whether it’s camping, hiking, climbing or cycling that tickles your outdoor fancy, REI has an extensive collection of equipment and accessories, from sleeping bags and tents to carabiners and harnesses. For winter sport enthusiasts, the store carries an impressive inventory of insulated pants, jackets and vests from brands like Marmot, Merrell and The North Face, and gear from brands like Bern, Burton and Dakine. REI also organizes trips with local guides to destinations on all seven continents. With a deep commitment to the outdoors, the company donates millions annually to conservation and environmental efforts. Today, REI counts 5 million active members - be a lifetime member for only $20 and enjoy special perks like merchandise deals, discounts on services and an annual refund.
REI - Founded from passion
Not many companies are founded by climbers with the genuine mission to help fellow enthusiasts, but REI’s history is exactly that. Recreational Equipment, Inc., (REI) was founded in Seattle, WA in 1938, at a time when proper climbing gear, while abundant in Europe, was hard to find in the Pacific Northwest. Led by Lloyd Anderson, a group of twenty-three climbers pioneered what would emerge as one of America’s largest consumer cooperatives, with the egalitarian goal of providing state-of-the-art European equipment at the best prices, a sore thumb in the capitalist retail landscape at the time. Jim Whittaker, the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, was hired as the co-op’s first full time employee then eventually went on to become president in the 1970s. Seventy five years later, from its humble operations in the Anderson house to today's 129 stores, REI has emerged as one of America’s most successful co-ops and best workplaces without forgetting its roots in the outdoors.