REI 2011 sales up, profit holds steady

REI reported its annual 2011 revenue up 8.4 percent to $1.8 billion, while its year-to-year profitability held steady at about $30.2 million due to investments in the business and a decline in holiday sales following the mild winter.
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REI reported its annual 2011 revenue up 8.4 percent to $1.8 billion, while its year-to-year profitability held steady at about $30.2 million.

"Profitability was flat to the prior year due to investments in our business and warm weather in the winter that impacted profitability in the critical holiday season," REI President and CEO Sally Jewell said in a statement. A new free online shipping program, increased advertising, plus upgrades to the company's mobile ecommerce platform also impacted profit.

REI does not release data for its same-store sales, which can provide a better comparative sense of performance. The national outdoor retailer added eight new stores during the year, including its first in New York City, plus an entry into South Carolina. There are now 122 REI stores in 29 states.

REI officials said the cooperative added nearly 842,000 members in 2011 for a total of 11.6 million members, 4.7 million of which it deems active. REI reported a balance of about $94.7 million in member refunds available in 2012, with an estimated $30.3 million of that to go unclaimed.

--David Clucas

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