REI to Open a Store in Cranston, R.I.

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a store in Cranston, R.I., in the fall of 2006 at Chapel View.
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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 Cranston, R.I., in the fall of 2006 at Chapel View. The new mixed-use development, off Interstate 95 on Route 2, revives 19th century buildings at the site of the former Sockanosset Boys Training School.

“The Chapel View development restores Victorian gothic architecture in a fun and vibrant neighborhood of shops, restaurants, offices and homes,” said Janet Hopkins, REI retail regional vice president for the East and Midwest.

The 27,500 square-foot, two-story store will employ about 55 full- and part-time staff. 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.

“New England's tradition of outdoor recreation includes destinations like Mount Washington to the north, Block Island to the south and Cape Cod to the east,” Hopkins said. “We are delighted to be supporting outdoor enthusiasts with our store at Chapel View.”

The Cranston store is REI's first store in Rhode Island. REI opened its first store in New England in Reading, Mass., in 1989 and now has four stores in Massachusetts. A previously announced store planned for West Hartford, Conn., will open in 2007.

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.

REI is known for knowledgeable employees who work with customers to select the right gear and offer information and useful tips on how to achieve a great outdoor experience. A camp stove demonstration table and a footwear test trail are among the in-store features to assist customers in learning about gear. A gear rental department encourages customers to try new outdoor activities.

Founded in Seattle in 1938 by a group of mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI now has 2.5 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.

REI was 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. REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.


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