SEATTLE, March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today REI, the outdoor co-op, announced record revenues for 2016 and highlighted how it gives back nearly 70 percent of its profits to the outdoor community. In his message to members, REI CEO and President Jerry Stritzke talked about the co-op's sustainability work and its efforts to deliver inspiring outdoor experiences to local communities by creating access to the outdoors for all.
REI reported annual revenues of $2.56 billion in 2016, a 5.5 percent increase from $2.42 billion in 2015. Comparable store sales, which include direct to consumer sales, were up nearly 4 percent and digital sales grew by nearly 18 percent. The co-op invested a record $9.3 million in nonprofit partners in 2016 and opened the country's most sustainable distribution center. Since 2008, REI's demand for energy from the grid has grown only 4 percent while sales have grown 78 percent.
"There is no doubt that the current retail landscape is challenging, but we had another good year," said Stritzke. "I am grateful to our employees, our members and our customers for their passion and commitment to the co-op community. Your involvement and commitment to REI allows us to do things like help build the nation's trail network, protect public lands, and innovate in sustainability. Together we can continue to keep the outdoors healthy and accessible for the next generation."
Giving back to the Co-op Community
This year, REI members received a record $193.7 million in annual dividends and credit card rebates. Members have the option of donating their dividend to The REI Foundation, if they choose. REI shared $57 million with employees through retirement and incentive program contributions, and the co-op's record $9.3 million investment in more than 300 nonprofit partners benefited more than 1,000 outdoor places across the country. Many of the co-op's community partners were among 700 organizations that joined the #OptOutside movement to inspire more than 6 million people to get outside last Black Friday.
REI prioritizes advancing sustainability in the co-op's day-to-day business operations and throughout the industry. In 2016, REI established partnerships with 66 of its largest outdoor brands to advance product sustainability and gave more than 1 million products a second life through used gear sales, repair workshops and gear swaps. The co-op shared details about the design of its new distribution center in Arizona—the first in the country to achieve LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy—to make it easier for other companies to build sustainability into their operations. REI also continued to operate 100 percent on renewable energy at all stores, distribution centers and headquarters.
For nearly eight decades, REI has been committed to creating outdoor access for all. The co-op has helped build the nation's trail network by investing more than $77 million in nonprofits that create access to and steward outdoor places across the country. As part of its investment in communities, the co-op launched five Rewilding Projects – a multi-year, multi-million dollar program focused on reshaping how people in large urban and suburban areas connect with the outdoors. REI is collaborating with nonprofits in five cities to help provide millions of people with easier access to nearby outdoor places.
The first set of Rewilding Projects include:
- Bay Area Ridge Trail – When complete, the Bay Area Ridge Trail will total 550 miles and circumnavigate the Bay Area, surrounding 8 million people. Currently, 365 miles of the trail are open to the public. REI's investment is helping accelerate completion by increasing the Bay Area Ridge Council's capacity and supporting efforts to convene key stakeholders.
- San Gabriel Mountains National Monument – The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in the Angeles National Forest provides recreational opportunities for millions of people in the Los Angeles area. REI's investment in the National Forest Foundation and The Wilderness Society supports sustainable access, restoring and rerouting trails, enhancing infrastructure, and increasing connectivity between the city and the national monument by linking urban trails and developing alternate transportation.
- Seattle Duwamish River Valley Trail Connectivity – This project will create a 15-mile mixed-use trail from the Seattle waterfront to South Park and Georgetown when complete. In partnership with the Seattle Parks Foundation, Forterra, Cascade Bicycle Club, Trust for Public Land and Mountains to Sound Greenway, this project seeks to advance environmental justice, address racial and neighborhood-level disparities, reduce health inequities and create economic opportunities through trail and open space connectivity.
- Southeast Chicago – REI is partnering with the Chicago Parks Foundation, Active Transportation Alliance and Friends of Big March to support the long-term transformation of the Calumet area into a thriving outdoor recreation hub. This project will develop a brand and raise awareness for the area, plan and implement transportation that will improve access for the community, and develop the Big Marsh property to include one of the largest mountain bike parks in the country, with mixed-use trails and paddling opportunities.
- Washington, D.C., Capital Trails Coalition – In partnership with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land, REI's investment is supporting the completion of a multi-use trail network in the Washington, D.C., region. This project will connect existing trails with new ones to provide outdoor recreation and alternative transportation to more communities.
As a member-owned co-op, REI's board of directors is selected by active members, who can exercise their rights to vote for the board March 17 through April 24.
REI's 2016 audited financial report is available at REI.com/about-rei/financial-information, the 2016 stewardship report is available at REI.com/stewardship/report and additional details on the co-op's stewardship efforts are available at REI.com/stewardship.
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation's largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 16 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 147 stores in 36 states. If you can't visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/REI-Garage or the free REI shopping app. REI isn't just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs 170 custom-designed itineraries on every continent. REI's Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses 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.