REI Closes All Stores, CEO Reminds Public That Looting Is Members Only
SEATTLE - In response to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the Nation, REI has decided to temporarily close all 162 store locations. This decision was made despite strong efforts by the #Wanderlust and Boomer-Dad online communities to designate REI as an essential service.
In a blog post announcement on the REI Website, President and CEO Eric Artz gave words of solace to the outdoor community. Artz writes, "Since our founding, REI has been about doing the right thing for our community."
Strong words for the CEO of an outdoor store that sells 6lb, 80L backpacks to beginner hikers.
Artz continues - outlining the Co-Op's plan of action, "After a great deal of careful consideration,we are temporarily closing our 162 retail stores nationwide starting tomorrow, March 16. I believe that is the right thing for our community. In fact, I believe it is our duty—to do all we can to help keep one another safe in this unprecedented moment."
As of the date of this publication, REI has not announced a date for the reopening. Artz states that they will be monitoring the situation and working with local health officials.
Towards the bottom of what we can only assume was a difficult letter to write, Artz leaves us with a few final words, "In the meantime, thank you for your understanding, your patience and, most of all, for being a part of this incredible community. Please remember, when the nationwide looting begins, REI stores are for Members only! Also, electronics can only be returned for 90 days!"
So if you are hoping to loot a Lifestraw, three stickers, and a pair of Oboz boots, or, perhaps a 10lb two person tent and a Hydroflask, make sure that you speak to a Green Vest and ask about becoming a Member today!