REI Named “Employer of the Year”

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI, was named the “Employer of the Year” at the 2008 World Retail Congress.

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), the outdoor retailer regarded for its quality gear and apparel, staff expertise, progressive business practices, and community and environmental efforts, was named the “Employer of the Year” at the 2008 World Retail Congress.

The World Retail Congress “Employer of the Year” award celebrates retailers that demonstrate policies and initiatives that make their company a truly popular place to work. REI was recognized for its commitment to employee engagement and the cooperative business model, which also attributes to a positive in-store experience for members and customers.

The 2008 Congress was held in Barcelona, Spain earlier this month. The event draws global business leaders from more than 45 countries that discuss organizational successes and industry trends through plenary sessions and private meetings. World Retail Congress judges represent leading retailers, business schools, government, public and private sector organizations and think tanks. As one of two new categories in 2008, the “Employer of the Year” award was one of 10 awards presented at the event.

Earlier this year, REI was also again named to FORTUNE magazine's “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.” The company has been recognized on the “100 Best” list for 11 consecutive years.

In addition to a comprehensive benefits package extended to all part- and full-time REI employees, the company's work environment promotes camaraderie, open communication, internal advancement opportunities, work/life balance and community volunteerism. In its 2007 companywide survey, employees rated REI 90 percent favorable, indicating the environment in which they work is welcoming and inclusive. To learn more about REI's culture and benefits, visit

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 – and – 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.