REI to Double Presence in Chicago Area

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open new stores in Schaumburg, Ill. and Lincoln Park, Ill.
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Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open new stores in Schaumburg, Ill. and Lincoln Park, Ill. The locations will double REI's presence in the Chicago metropolitan area by 2008.

REI offers the top brands for outdoor recreation, including the co-op's award-winning line of gear and apparel. Known for their expertise in the products they sell, REI employees help members and customers select the right gear and provide useful tips on outdoor recreation for activities such as camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel.

The national co-op has been serving Chicago residents since 1991 with the opening of a store in Niles, Ill. In 1994, REI opened a second store in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., located at 17 West 160 22nd Street. The Niles store relocated to Northbrook, Ill. earlier this year and is now situated at the intersection of Willow Road and Waukegan Road, near Interstate 94.

In Schaumburg, REI has begun renovation on the former Tower Records site in Woodfield Commons for an expected opening in November 2007. The one-story, 26,000 square-foot store will include a full-service bike shop and seasonal rentals, such as snowshoes and camping equipment.

In Lincoln Park, the co-op's two-story, 28,000 square-foot store will be located in a new mixed-use development at the southwest corner of Halsted Street and Blackhawk Street, adjacent to the new British School. Opening in the fall of 2008, the store will also include a full-service bike shop, seasonal rentals and a community space for classes, presentations and events.

“Chicago is home to many amazing recreational sites that can be enjoyed within the city or just a short distance away,” said Michelle Yancy, REI Midwest retail director. “With nearly 64,000 members residing in the area, we look forward to better serving our members, customers and other enthusiasts for their outdoor adventures.”

With the addition of the new locations, REI will employ nearly 300 full- and part-time retail staff in the Chicago area by 2008. Hiring clinics for Schaumburg and Lincoln Park will occur approximately two months prior to each store opening. For information about employment opportunities, please visit www.rei.com/jobs.

REI is dedicated to increasing access to outdoor recreation and promoting environmental stewardship in the communities in which it does business. Earlier this year, REI presented the

Big City Mountaineers a $20,000 grant to support youth programs in both Chicago and northern

California, providing educational wilderness experiences and mentoring for at-risk teens. In addition, the co-op has supported seven additional non-profit organizations in Illinois, totaling more than $30,000 in grants. Organizations include the Irons Oaks Foundation, Lake Forest Open Lands Association, League of Illinois Bicyclists, OMNI Youth Services, Sierra Club Foundation's Inner City Outings, Wetlands Initiative and Youth Conservation Corps.

While anyone may 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. Earlier this year, the co-op returned $58 million to its members through the refund.

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. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions. 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 their work and personal lives.

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