SEATTLE â€“ Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), the outdoor retailer regarded for its quality gear, staff expertise, progressive business practices, and community and environmental efforts, announced today that it has again been named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work for in America.â€
Ranked as number 27 in the 2007 list, REI has been recognized as part of the "100 Bestâ€ list for 10 consecutive years, and this year tops the list of companies that encourage their employees to balance their work and personal life. The complete rankings can be viewed online at www.fortune.com starting today, and will be part of the magazine's January 22 issue available on newsstands later this month.
"It's a great honor to be recognized as one of the country's best places to work,â€ said Sally Jewell, REI president and CEO. "The biggest reason for our continued success is our passionate employees who not only inspire and educate our co-op members and customers for outdoor adventures, but enthusiastically volunteer in their communities.â€
REI is one of six companies based in the state of Washington that made FORTUNE's list, and one of only 22 companies to offer fully paid sabbaticals. Additionally, the company is one of 18 employers included every year since the magazine began compiling the list in 1998, and one of six companies included in two earlier book versions.
Released annually, FORTUNE's "100 Bestâ€ list is based on an employee survey conducted by the Great Places to Work Institute, and corporate information submitted by each company regarding its culture, policies and benefits. At REI, 400 employees randomly received the "100 Bestâ€ survey which measured workplace pride, respect, credibility, fairness and camaraderie. Employee survey results are heavily weighted at two-thirds of the final score.
REI offers its employees a generous benefits program including healthcare benefits to full and part-time employees, a retirement plan that does not require individual contributions, a fitness center discount to more than 2,000 nationwide clubs, adoption assistance and domestic partner benefits. Some additional REI employee-centric attributes include:
â€¢ An outdoor focused culture that actively encourages community involvement and participation in human-powered recreation.
â€¢ A work environment promoting camaraderie, open communication and the opportunity for internal advancement, while respecting and encouraging work/life balance.
â€¢ Deep discounts on outdoor gear, as well as free gear rentals. The REI employee discount is also extended to retired employees with 25 or more years of service.
â€¢ Gear grants for employees embarking on a personal outdoor challenge.
â€¢ Incentive pay directly tied to company or divisional goals for all employees.
â€¢ Financial and gear grants to community-based outdoor-focused clubs and non-profit organizations in which REI employees are involved; as well as team-building service projects where employees work together to enhance their favorite outdoor areas.
â€¢ College tuition reimbursement.
Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is today the nation's largest consumer co-op with more than 3 million active members. REI offers products from all of the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, outdoor cross-training, paddling, snow sports and travel, including its own line of award-winning gear and apparel. While anyone may join or shop at REI, members pay a one-time $15 fee and receive a share in the company's profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. REI currently operates 89 stores in 25 states, two online stores â€“ REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com â€“ and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. A portion of REI's profits is set aside each year for support of environmental stewardship and outdoor recreation causes.
Public Affairs Manager
Recreational Equipment, Inc.
EDITOR'S NOTE: To request REI b-roll, or to schedule an interview with an REI employee, please contact Megan Behrbaum (253/437-7736).