SEATTLE, July 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In the fall of 2016, outdoor adventurers can gear up and tap into expert advice at two new REI locations in Cleveland, Ohio and King of Prussia, Pa. The stores will offer the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling and snow sports. REI Cleveland will serve over 9,500 active members, while REI King of Prussia will continue to inspire, educate and outfit nearly 78,000 REI members in the Philadelphia area.
"Our continued growth in Ohio and Pennsylvania speaks to the active outdoor lifestyle of both communities," said Greg Medlyn, REI divisional vice president of Retail. "We are excited to open our fourth store in each state and can't wait to better serve local adventurers looking to have fun and explore the outdoors."
Cleveland is the second-largest market of active REI members currently without a store. REI Cleveland will be the first co-op location in Northeast Ohio and fourth store in the state since September 2012, joining stores in Cincinnati, Columbus-Easton and Columbus-Dublin. The 27,000 square foot store will be located in the Pinecrest development at Interstate 271 and Harvard Boulevard. With the nearest store currently over 120 miles away in Pittsburgh, Pa., the location will provide convenient access to the co-op for the outdoor community in the greater Cleveland area, offering gear and expertise for activities including biking, fitness, watersports and travel.
REI King of Prussia will be the fourth location in the Philadelphia area, joining stores in Conshohocken, Pa., Marlton, N.J. and Christiana, Del., which will open this fall. The two-story, 34,000 square foot store is centrally located in the King of Prussia Town Center. The location will continue REI's commitment to the outdoor community in Pennsylvania as the first co-op in the state opened in Conshohocken in 1991.
As a national leader in outdoor education, both locations will offer year-round REI Outdoor School classes, educating participants with a robust schedule of free and low-cost in-store classes taught by expert instructors. Popular topics include camping essentials, fitness monitoring and presentations about the best local places to play outside. The stores will also feature bike shops for expert assembly and repair.
Creating Outdoor Access
Wherever REI has a presence, the co-op partners with nonprofit organizations to invest in the infrastructure that makes life outside more accessible to the community. REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits as a steward to inspiring outdoor places.
REI has granted $60,000 to six organizations in Ohio this year, including Great Parks of Hamilton County, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, and Central Ohio Mountain Biking Organization. In the Philadelphia area, REI has invested $40,500 in three organizations in 2015, including Friends of the Wissahickon, Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association and Friends of the Black Run Preserve (Pinelands Preservation Alliance). Overall, the co-op will invest $5.9 million in over 300 nonprofits across the country to increase access to and steward over 1,000 outdoor places in 2015.
Join the REI Team
REI will hire approximately 50 employees for each new store. Interested candidates can sign up online to be notified when the store begins accepting applications. Employees receive a variety of benefits, including generous product and service discounts, competitive pay and retirement contributions. For 18 consecutive years, REI has been recognized as one of FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For."
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation's largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 5.5 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 140 stores in 33 states. If you can't visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/outlet 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 150 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.