REI to Open Its Second Store in Charlotte

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a second store in the Charlotte area in the spring of 2008.
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Following the successful opening of a store in Pineville, N.C., in August, 2006, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a second store in the Charlotte area in the spring of 2008.

The new store will be located in the NorthCrest development adjacent to the Northlake Mall, 10 minutes north of the city center on I-77. A store opened in Pineville, just south of Charlotte, at Carolina Place Mall in August, 2006.

“We are thrilled that 5,500 new members have joined REI here since we opened our doors in Pineville on August 4th,” said Janet Hopkins, retail regional vice president. “The people of Charlotte enjoy exploring the natural world and finding ways to recreate from the mountains to the sea.”

The 26,000 square-foot 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.

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 committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions. In North Carolina, REI has supported the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition, Crowders Mountain State Park and Carolina Climber's Coalitions' efforts to protect the Laurel Knob climbing area.

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. About 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.

Founded in Seattle in 1938 by a group of mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI now has 3 million active members and operates 89 retail stores nationwide, two online stores – REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. REI was recently listed on FORTUNE magazine's “100 Best Companies to Work For in America.” REI has been included in the rankings for 10 consecutive years.

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