REI to open a store in Maple Grove

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a store at the Fountains at Arbor Lakes. in Maple Grove, Minn., in the fall of 2006.
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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 Fountains at Arbor Lakes. in Maple Grove, Minn., in the fall of 2006.

The 25,000 square-foot store, at Elm Creek Boulevard and Hemlock Lane, 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.

“The Fountains at Arbor Lakes is a first class retail center,” said REI Director of Real Estate Jerry Chevassus. “It is also a convenient spot for our members and customers to gear up for the great outdoors, places like Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Chippewa National Forest and Superior National Forest.”

REI has 35,000 members within 15 miles of the store site. This is REI's third store in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. REI opened a store in Bloomington in 1979 and the Roseville store in 1992. 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 help 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 will be among the in-store features to assist customers in learning about gear. A gear rental department encourages customers to try new outdoor activities.

REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions. In the Minneapolis area, REI has recently supported Friends of the Minnesota Conservation Corps, East Side Neighborhood Service Inc., Friends of the Mississippi River, YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis, Bolder Options and Minnesota Off Road Cyclists.

Founded in Seattle in 1938 by a group of mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI now has 2.5 million active members and operates 82 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 rankings for nine consecutive years.

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