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REI announces record 2018 sales

Published April 9, 2019

SEATTLE (BRAIN) — REI Co-op had record sales in 2018 of $2.78 billion, up 6 percent over the prior year. The co-op also said it added more than 1 million new members last year, bringing its total membership to 18 million.

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Also during the year, REI invested $8.4 million into 431 nonprofits, returned $204 million to members through dividents and credit card awards, and gave $77 million to employees through profit sharing and retirement. 

REI's interim president and CEO Eric Artz said REI is working to scale sustainability efforts in the outdoor industry, and helping more people get outside by expanding into rentals and used gear.

"Today's results show that doing good is good business. We have a strong foundation, but we must do more. As a community, we must confront the serious problems facing society," said Artz. "Most of the U.S. population is disconnected from nature, spending more time inside than outdoors. We need to reverse that trend. Spending time outside isn't only good for people's health. It connects people to something bigger – a desire to fight for the future of life outside."

REI plans to significantly expand its gear rental, used gear and gear trade-in options in 2019. New rental options will include snowshoes, skis, snowboards, fully equipped camping and backpacking kits and more in 115 stores across the country.

"We're determined to make it as easy as possible for people to make more sustainable choices," said Ben Steele, REI's chief customer officer. "In 2017 we made it possible to search for product sustainability attributes online, and in 2018 launched our Product Sustainability Standards to ensure that every product we sell meets a minimum set of expectations. In 2019, we see the expanded rental and used gear program as keeping us moving toward a sustainable and accessible outdoor future by offering new models of access to great outdoor gear and apparel."

On Tuesday REI also launched "Find Out," a new national brand campaign intended to reframe how people think about the powerful role the outdoors can play in their lives. It launches with three videos designed to get people off mobile devices and into fresh air.

"No matter if you live in a city or have access to wilderness, we want to help more people discover how time outside makes life better. All the science shows it," said Artz. "We can inspire people, but we can also make it easier and more affordable to get outside, more sustainably. We do this in part by offering high-quality products that are designed to last, and by coming up with inventive ways to maximize the lifespans of those products."

More: Full financial report.

Topics associated with this article: Earnings/Financial Reports

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