REI to Open a Store in Chula Vista

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a store in Chula Vista, Calif.
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Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a store in Chula Vista, Calif., at the Otay Ranch Town Center at the intersection of Eastlake and Olympic Parkways in the fall of 2006.

The store will provide outdoor gear and clothing for camping, climbing, cycling, paddling, hiking, travel and snow sports, as well as all of the top outdoor brands including REI's own line of award-winning REI gear and apparel. The 26,000 square-foot store will employ about 55 full- and part-time staff.

“The San Diego region is a great place to play outdoors.” said Tim Spangler, REI Retail Regional Vice President, West Region. “Chula Vista is home to the Olympic Training Center, which supports 4,000 athletes in sports that include kayaking, cycling and triathlon. The Otay Ranch location will complement our other stores in the region and provide more convenient service to an active community.”

There are 18,000 active REI members living within 15 miles of the new store site. The Chula Vista store will be REI's third in the San Diego market. REI opened its San Diego store in 1998. A store in Encinitas opened in 2004. 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. Last year, the co-op returned $50 million to its members through the refund.

REI is known for knowledgeable employees who help select the right gear and offer information and useful tips on how to achieve a great outdoor experience. A gear rental department encourages customers to try new outdoor activities.

Internet kiosks within the store provide access to REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com for product information and to order products not currently in stock. More than half of online customers choose REI Store Pickup, a service that allows customers to pick up online purchases at a store without a shipping charge.

REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions. In the San Diego region, REI has recently supported Girl Scouts-San Diego Imperial Council, San Diego Baykeeper, I Love A Clean San Diego and San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy.

Recently named among the top 10 great companies on FORTUNE magazine's “100 Best Companies to Work For in America,” REI has been included in the magazine's rankings for nine consecutive years.

Founded in Seattle in 1938 by a group of mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI now has 2.8 million active members and operates 83 retail stores nationwide, two online stores – REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures.

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