REI Reaches Milestone in Boulder Store Renovation

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced that its Boulder, Colo. prototype store has reached the second phase in its expansion and renovation.
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SEATTLE – Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced that its Boulder, Colo. prototype store has reached the second phase in its expansion and renovation. Upon completion, the store will serve as a working laboratory to analyze new retail concepts and the performance of green building features.

REI will operate out of a portion of the remodeled space until the completion of the project, which is slated for early October. At 42,000 square feet, the completed space will be double in size of the original store and offer an expanded product selection and full-service ski shop. The store's design will embody the values that make REI unique – community involvement, environmental stewardship and a commitment to serve as a gateway to the outdoors.

The lighting, mechanical, electrical and plumbing work is now complete, including the installation of the solar hot water system. While work on the expansion continues, customers in the store will see touches of sustainable materials, including a perimeter wall system constructed of bamboo, recycled rubber flooring and a cork footwear wall. One of the most significant changes will be the amount of natural light in the store, which is achieved through Solatubes, highly reflective tubes that channel daylight into the store. This feature will provide approximately 20 percent of the store's lighting, thus reducing daytime energy use. Additional industry-leading green features will be added in the coming months.

“Interest for our new store has continued to build over the past few months, and our customers and employees are eager to see the finished space,” said REI Boulder Store Manager Ali Bennett. “Everyone has been so patient throughout this process. We look forward to unveiling a store that is different than our current look and feel, while supporting our commitment to customer service and high quality products.”

REI announced its prototype initiative in May 2006 as an effort to test new concepts in store layout and merchandising, state-of-the-art technology and environmentally-friendly materials. As the initiative's first location, the Boulder store will help REI determine where the co-op can improve its store experience and environmental footprint, such as energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Boulder was chosen for the co-op's initial prototype because the city has a highly active population and is home to key leadership within the outdoor industry, including the Outdoor Industry Association, gear makers and other outdoor retailers. Additionally, the co-op saw the opportunity to better serve its members through a broader product assortment via a larger store.

REI has been a leader in green retail store design since the planning, construction and opening of the co-op's innovative Seattle flagship store in 1996. In 2004, REI's Portland, Ore. location became the first retail store in the country to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold rating for commercial interiors. In 2006, REI's Pittsburgh store achieved a LEED silver rating for commercial interiors. The Boulder store represents the next generation in green building design for the company.

Additional information regarding the store's construction and opening weekend events will be announced in the coming months. Members, customers and the community are invited to take part in the grand re-opening celebration in October.

REI is an outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure. REI operates 90 stores in 26 states, two online stores – REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. For 10 consecutive years, REI has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.” In 2007, the company ranked 27th overall and first among companies that encourage employees to balance work and personal lives. For information about employment opportunities with the co-op, visit www.rei.com/jobs.

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