REI

REI storefront on a sunny day.

Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., REI operates more than 150 retail stores across the United States.

Recreational Equipment, Inc., commonly known as REI, is an American retail and outdoor recreation services corporation. It is organized as a consumer cooperative. REI sells sporting goods, camping gear, travel equipment, and clothing. It also offers services such as outdoor-oriented vacations and courses. REI operates 155 retail stores in 36 states.

REI was founded in 1938 by Lloyd and Mary Anderson  in Seattle, Washington. What began as a group of 23 mountain climbing buddies is now the nation's largest consumer cooperative. Jerry Stritzke was the CEO from October 2013 to February 2019 when he resigned because of of a personal relationship with another outdoor industry leader that could be construed as a conflict of interest. Eric Artz is currently serving as interim CEO.

On Black Friday 2015, REI closed all of its stores, halted the processing of orders on its website, and gave all employees a paid day off as part of its #OptOutside campaign, which launched a movement in the outdoor industry. REI is the first major retailer to forgo operations on Black Friday.

Among its guided travel and retreat opportunities, REI puts on Outessa, a series of events created for women, by women, to help participants explore the outdoors, build skills, and network with like-minded adventurers.