REI to Open a Store in Fresno

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a store at The Shops at River Park in Fresno, Calif., in the spring of 2007.
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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 at The Shops at River Park in Fresno, Calif., in the spring of 2007.

The two-story 26,000 square-foot store at North Blackstone and East Nees avenues off Route 41 will employ about 55 full- and part-time staff. The store will provide top outdoor brands of outdoor gear and clothing for camping, climbing, cycling, paddling, hiking, travel and snow sports, including REI's own line of award-winning REI gear and apparel.

“Fresno is known as the ‘Gateway to the Parks' with easy access to Kings Canyon, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks,” said Tim Spangler, retail regional vice president, west region. “We have the opportunity to help outfit people heading out to these national treasures.”

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 has 5,500 members within 15 miles of the new Fresno site. The nearest REI store is in Sacramento 125 miles to the northwest.

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. Earlier this year, REI has awarded a $10,000 grant to Fresno United Neighborhood to care for Woodward Park and a $5,000 grant to Tree Fresno.

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. In 2006, REI was 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 rankings for nine consecutive years.

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