SEATTLE, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Outdoor adventurers in Flagstaff, Ariz. and Columbus, Ohio will have new REI stores in their communities beginning Spring 2014.
"We're excited to join communities that are magnets for those who love the outdoors," said Rachel Ligtenberg, REI regional vice president. "Whether enjoying activities close-to-home or farther away at a national park, we look forward to preparing people for their outdoor adventures through great gear and knowledgeable staff."
The stores will offer the top brands of gear and apparel for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking and travel. A bike shop will provide expert assembly and repair services, and a community space will host outdoor-related classes, presentations and events.
The 23,550 square-foot Flagstaff store will be located at Aspen Place at the Sawmill at the corner of Lone Tree Road and Butler Avenue. Part of the latest phase of development at the shopping center, the store will be near downtown Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University. With a presence in Arizona for more than 25 years, REI also has stores in Tempe, Paradise Valley and Tucson that opened in 1986, 1996, and 2010 respectively.
The Columbus store will open in Easton Gateway at the corner of Stelzer Road and Morse Road. The newly constructed 23,400 square-foot location will also feature a wide assortment of gear and apparel to help outfit boating enthusiasts. The company opened its first Ohio store in Cincinnati last October.
While anyone may shop with REI, the company is the nation's largest consumer cooperative and has 5.1 million active members. REI members pay a one-time $20 fee and receive a share in REI's profits through an annual member refund. Membership also includes discounts on gear rentals, REI Adventures trips and REI Outdoor School classes. There are more than 4,200 members in the Flagstaff area, and more than 5,100 in Columbus.
The company will hire approximately 50 new employees for each new store. Candidates can apply online at www.rei.com/jobs in early 2014. As part of REI's benefits package, employees receive incentive pay, retirement contributions, healthcare benefits, generous product and service discounts, and more. For 16 consecutive years, REI has been recognized as one of FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For," and is currently number 17 on the 2013 list.
REI's mission is to inspire, educate and outfit its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. As part of its commitment, REI partners with nonprofit organizations that offer volunteer programs to restore and maintain local trails, parks and waterways partners that are meaningful to its members and customers.
REI is a $2 billion national multichannel retail co-op headquartered outside of Seattle. With more than 5 million active members, REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers through innovative, quality products; inspiring classes and trips; and integrated customer service that allows shoppers to buy great gear and clothing in any way they want. REI has 129 stores in 32 states, as well as REI.com and REI.com/outlet. This year REI will invest $3 million in local communities to help care for outdoor spaces.