REI Boulder Receives Award - SNEWS

REI Boulder Receives Award

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, announced today that it won Chain Store Age’s 2007 Retail Store of the Year award.
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Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, announced today that it won Chain Store Age's 2007 Retail Store of the Year award for Environmental Sustainability for its Boulder, Colo. prototype store.

In its 26th year, the magazine's annual competition celebrates retail design across all industry segments. Designed in collaboration with Gensler, a leading global design, planning and strategic consulting firm, REI's store in Boulder is the first-ever award winner in the Environmental Sustainability category.

“We are honored to be recognized by Chain Store Age for our efforts towards sustainability through our retail prototype initiative,” said Dean Iwata, REI's director of Store Development. “Sustainable practices are part of our organizational DNA. With Gensler's partnership, we are learning how to better align the next generation of our retail stores with our commitment to community involvement, environmental stewardship and providing a gateway to the outdoors for our members and customers.”

REI Boulder was built to test retail design and green building concepts, and will help the company make decisions on how it approaches store design and construction in the future. Examples of the store's green features include Solatubesâ„¢ to channel natural daylight throughout the store that save 20 percent in energy costs, a light monitor that collects energy from imbedded silicon solar cells, a solar hot water system that meets 70 percent of the store's hot water needs, and sustainable materials used to create the floor, perimeter walls, fixtures and displays. A 2,000 square-foot elevated community space helps educate co-op members and customers on outdoor recreational opportunities in their area, and connect them to outdoor and conservation clubs and service projects to protect local natural spaces.

“Working with REI on this new prototype was an extremely rewarding process,” said Ted Jacobs, Gensler's design director. “We found new and innovative ways to create an exceedingly sustainable store that is perfectly in line with REI's strong brand identity. We are grateful to be recognized by Chain Store Age."

Gensler has been a champion of sustainable design for years. In 2005 the company received the Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its commitment to the advancement of sustainable design. REI and Gensler were guided by USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and collaborated to create the custom-design fixtures, signage and wayfinding systems for the new layout of the store. The Boulder store is anticipating a LEED Silver rating for the Retail – Commercial Interiors pilot program.

REI announced its prototype initiative in May 2006. The prototype in Boulder was constructed by remodeling the company's existing space that opened in 2002 and expanding into a vacant space adjacent to the store. The larger footprint allowed for a wider selection of gear and apparel, and the addition of a new ski and snowboard department, repair shop and children's play area. The co-op recently announced that Round Rock, Texas will be the second location for the prototype initiative with an anticipated opening in early fall 2008. A third location has yet to be announced.

For the construction of all new REI buildings, the company uses the LEED point system to measure success, looking to meet or exceed LEED standards whenever possible. A summary of Boulder's green building features is available at http://www.rei.com/greenbuilding/boulder. Further information on the company's comprehensive stewardship initiatives is available at www.rei.com/stewardship.

About REI
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI operates retail stores nationwide, two online stores – http://www.rei.com and http://www.REI-OUTLET.com – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. REI offers products from all of the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel, including its own line of award-winning outdoor gear and apparel. While anyone may join or shop at REI, members pay a one-time $20 fee and receive a share in the company's profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. As an active supporter of the communities in which it does business, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

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