is rei going out of business

Is REI Going Out Of Business in 2023? | Is REI closing for good?

Is REI Going Out Of Business? Yes, REI planned to close its location in the Pearl District, Portland, early in 2024 (expected to be closed at the end of February 2024), which has been there for more than 19 years due to the high break-ins and security issues.

One of the spokespeople of REI named, Megan Behrbaum, said the store’s building in Portland Pear needs to be renovated, which requires investment. But we cannot do so, as the agreement with our landlord cannot reach.”

According to REI’s spokesperson, the store’s lease ended in February. The company has already informed all of the employees working at the Portland’s Pearl location, including part-time and full-time employees, the store is about to close in the location, and all of them can be able to apply for any other positions at REI if they are interested in doing so.

Some employees who still became active at the time of closure will get bonuses next year for the store’s closures. 

Also, the full-time employees will be provided with severance pay; it’s up to the employees whether they transfer or leave.

If you are not a member of REI, you are welcome on the store’s website or its store. If you have a membership, it is a privilege as the members of REI get additional benefits such as rewards and extra discounts on sales because REI is a member-owned cooperative.

REI was founded in 1938 and headquartered in Sumner, Wash. In 2004, the company opened its Portland Store, which covers an area of 35,000 square feet of NW 14th and Johnson. 

Also closed several stores, and Jantzen Beach’s REI store is one of them, operated since 1976. After the flagship store in Seattle and Berkeley, REI’s third store was the Jantzen Beach store.

REI has planned to close its various stores, including Portland’s Pear District, in 2024. The company has announced this plan already.

Besides REI, Starbucks shut down more than 10 of its coffee shops last year due to some safety issues, of which three stores were in the Portland location. One was located nearby REI, at NW 11th, and Lovejoy in the Pearl district.

Two other Starbucks stores were closed the same year; one was located near union drive at SW 4th and Morrison. The stores were closed due to 29 violations of the Federal Labor Law by NLRB, and the Union leader was against that closure. 

About The REI Co-Op

REI is a speciality outdoor retailer considered the largest co-op across the country. REI is a membership-owned corporation with 23 million members. It is headquartered in Seattle. REI owns more than 150 locations in 42 states across the country. 

If you are one of those who love to have top-quality gear, then you must go for it. Although REI is not just about gear but also about fantastic customer service, expert classes, and trips, you can visit its store; if not, it is better to visit its official website, i.e., REI shopping app, and REI Outlet.

People who love adventure can make the most of it with REI’s travel company nationwide. REI operated around 150 itinerary stores. 

Additionally, professionally trained instructors provided by REI offer seminars, workshops, and classes to learn more about various activities and train their customers from beginner to pro levels.

REI spends a lot of money yearly on national and local non-profits to build better relationships and the infrastructure that helps them to make life great outside.

Why Is REI Going Out Of Business?

is rei going out of business 2023

The company REI is going out of business, as it explained several issues that led to its store’s closures. As the company has given no clear-cut reason for closing the stores. But some of the reports say that due to security issues, regular burglaries, and break-ins. REI closed its stores located in a large city.

Yeah! We have no solid reason behind the closure of stores, as the company had not announced anything except break-ins, theft, and security issues. 

The announcement was revealed via email that the company sent to its members in April 2023 that so many thefts and break-ins occur in the neighbourhood, and the store has moved beyond this location. Consequently, we are unable to meet all the requirements of our customers and employees; we are not being able to attempt their experience at REI.”

Not only this but also the email that the company sent to local media explained the store in Portland’s Pearl District location experienced more than 8 thievery in 2022.

In the same year, they spent 800,000 US dollars on its security. Despite investing a lot of money in its security, the security issues were there. No reduction was seen in burglaries or break-ins.

Burglary is another thing, but we have also struggled with several other things. 

On November 2022, when the store shut down for the company’s annual day, i.e. “Opt Outside”, one car crashed into the store after Thanksgiving. After the incident of the car crash, a meeting between the Chief Commercial Officer of REI, the Manager of the Portland store, Portland’s Police Chief, and Mayor Ted Wheeler was held.

What REI Said On Its Closure?

REI operates several stores, some of which have already closed due to some reasons and again planned to close another location due to security issues. 

When closing the store in Portland, REI wrote in an email, “Our members, customers, and employees’ safety is our priority as we have seen that Portland located store has been struggling with a lot of crime, including thefts and break-ins in the nearby areas. We have also dealt with several break-ins and burglaries since its launch, after investing thousands of dollars on additional securities.”

The CEO of REI, Doug McMillion, alerted in December that all the retailers in Portland, including Walmart, due to the highest number of break-ins and theft, all the retailers are forced to close stores or increase prices. 

He said in such a way, “If you are unable to correct it over time, then you have two options, one is to close the store, and another is to raise the prices.’

What REI Expected In 2022?

In recent years, it is noted that REI has reported a slight increase in union activity and filed a petition for a union election in April with the National Labor Relations Board with three more stores along with the Eugene location. 

For this, 181 stores of its three co-ops were unionized.

Until November 2022, the head of the action sports department of the Portland REI store, Chesley Lindsey, stated, “I was putting efforts to maintain the unity of the store and to do so, I was actively involved in this process. When I left, workers there were about to vote to unionize the store.”

According to Chesley, if the stores unionize, there will be more success as REI is a member-owned corporation, and it becomes straightforward to build more members.

Did REI Plan To Open New Location In 2023?

Yes, REI, a speciality outdoor retailer, planned to open a new location in Prescott, Arizona, in fall 2023. As we know, the company declared to close its several locations. On the other hand, they have planned to open a new location.

They have leased the new store located at Frontier Village Center on tribal land from Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe. The new store will provide the best service to its customers.

There will be a wide range of gear, camping equipment, apparel, running, fitness, paddling, climbing, hiking, and several more. 

Additionally, a full-service bike shop where certified mechanics will be employed. Those who want to look forward to adventure on two wheels must look forward to REI.

Let’s see what REI’s regional director, Kristen Engels, said on opening a new store at Prescott in 2023, “Prescott is located nearby several natural gems including, Prescott Circle Trail, Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, National Preserve, and Watson Lake. It makes Prescott a well-known stopping place for mountain climbing, hiking, bouldering, and biking. We are excited and looking forward to joining the long-respected destination for all, a Prescott community.”

Also added, “To connect people to the outdoors and protect these natural places, we also look forward to growing strong relationships with the non-profits that will help us to support efforts.”

New Location Highlights:

  • Store Located at 1841 AZ-69, Prescott, Frontier Village Center: AZ 86301
  • Store Features: Online pickup, curbside pickup, and a full-service bike shop staffed with certified mechanics
  • Store Size: 25,000 square feet
  • Other REI Stores in Arizona: Flagstaff opened in 2014; 94 miles away; Tucson opened in 2010; 210 miles away; Paradise Valley opened in 1996; 95 miles away; Chandler reopened in 2017; 114 miles away.
  • REI Co-op Membership: Arizona has 619,000 members, Prescott has 9,900 members, and Phoenix DMA has 154,000 members

Besides Prescott, Arizona, REI also announced opening of a new store in Sarasota, Florida.

The Final Words On REI Going Out Of Business?

In April, through email, the company told its employees that Portland’s Pearl District Store is closing its only REI location in Portland while it is one of the stores located in the metropolitan area. But stores in Hillsboro, Clackamas, and Tualatin will still be around.

Other Portland suburbs will remain open while Portland’s Pearl district location declared to be going out of business. This news became a matter of concern for the country and drew attention. On the contrary, REI announced opening new stores in 2023, including Prescott; Arizona, and Sarasota; Florida.