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Doug

REI - The Evil Empire

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And where else can one find a neverending assortment of pastel colored nalgene water bottles? Shiiiit.

 

Don't forget the other fun little items that say, "I'm outdoorsy":

441213-dog.jpg

441213-dog.jpg.562197d7f68ce7545e048d3710eac5e0.jpg

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I have gotten some damn good deals at REI (ie 50-90% off). I shop where the deals are. If Cascade Crags has it cheaper than Feathered Friends I go there. If REI has it cheaper than Second ascent, I go there. Yeah it is nice to help out the local peeps, but its all about the Benjamins. I guess I just know what to expect when I go to REI so I am not bothered by it. Do I hate seeing Chet and Buffy with their little Jessica and Tyler shopping there for pink Nalgenes, chocolate covered cherries, a $400 "rain jacket", and a North Face work shirt? Yeah. But no more than it bothers me to be ignored or belittled by self proclaimed uber climbers. I have a pretty big dick, I have nothing to prove.

4" IS big.......... right?! DAMN!!! Anyone looking to sell some leashless ice tools or a single wall Bibler? cantfocus.gif

peace homies

bigdrink.gif

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I want to sell my stock at market value, not what I paid in.

 

yelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gif

 

Sucker.

 

You don't own stock. You've got a membership. If you wanted to buy stock you should have invested in a real corporationwave.gif

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REI treats their employees like total shit, I will never buy anything there.

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And where else can one find a neverending assortment of pastel colored nalgene water bottles? Shiiiit.

 

Don't forget the other fun little items that say, "I'm outdoorsy":

441213-dog.jpg

 

Are those for dogbone draws? hahaha.gif

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You don't own stock. You've got a membership. If you wanted to buy stock you should have invested in a real corporationwave.gif

Moron. I have an equity position in REI. Look at your annual statement in the mail - "membership equity" (somewhere on the order of $300 million). The members are the owners of REI.

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In the first place I'm not a member, so I can't look at a membership statement.

 

Secondly REI is a cooperative. There was an article I read somewhere back a few months ago that detailed what generally happens to cooperatives. All of them get founded for altruistic reasons, but at some point in their development human nature and greed takes over. REI is a typical cooperative.

 

The bottom line is you might be technically right, but in the real world you and every other member of REI have been fucked, and there ain't much you can do about it.

 

I recommend getting over it and shopping somewhere else. Somewhere that's straight up about telling you that they're in business to make money...it's the American way. wave.gif

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Clintoris you have to remember where most people are writing from. The reason that we dont mind REI is because they do have better prices than anywhere else in town. AMH will rarly make things cost less than REI and they dont have as many sales. And there really isnt any big competition to REI so we think its lower prices but in reality REI has no real reason to go changing its prices.

 

I think it is an important thing to be able to say "that person is making to much money" but in reality they are turning profits. Sure they should probably let us share more in the profits but they are a semi-greedy company. They still do things for the enviroment and they still go about helping out with sponsoring here in town. I think REI should stay smaller. But how do you tell a company turning huge profits not to expand? Its just the way things go. Make lots of money, build more, lose money, close shops. It really is inevitable.

 

I dont feel ripped off by REI and when i go to seattle i see plenty of people shopping in the store. If its so horrible to everyone than theres obviously people that either dont mind or are willing to take the punishment for a reason.

 

There are lots of companies that treat there people like crap. The REI up here does not appear to be one of them. Most people i know that work at REI spend there paycheck there because they get such a great deal off of stuff, and most have worked there for a long time.

 

Its the Demographics i suppose.

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Walked in the flagship REI yesterday and spent 10 minutes looking for the climbing gear. Turns out they moved it from near the entrance to a small cubbyhole near bikes. Inventory looks to be less than half of previous. One of the sales associates said that climbing gear was moved because it has low margins compared to the other items in the store. A friend spoke with a different store manager and learned that their store had increased profits my expanding the percentage of floor space dedicated to womens' clothing, and that would be a model for the chain. The upstairs of the flagship store is now all clothing and boots.

 

REI now has over $100 million in cash and investments, not counting property and inventory on sales of ~$890 million. Dividends declared for this past year were $50 million.

 

And they brag "We climb."

 

Soon, they will have to shop for their climbing gear elsewhere.

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Does anybody remember the old Eddie Bauer back in the days before many of you were born. They used to have climbing stuff. They went to clothes becuase they had better margins.

 

If REI wants to move to better margins and more turnover on product...then good for them. In the retail industry you have to have a good location, decent margins, good turnover, and low overhead. Otherwise you will go belly up...

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Does anybody remember the old Eddie Bauer back in the days before many of you were born. They used to have climbing stuff. They went to clothes becuase they had better margins.

 

If REI wants to move to better margins and more turnover on product...then good for them. In the retail industry you have to have a good location, decent margins, good turnover, and low overhead. Otherwise you will go belly up...

 

rolleyes.gif Yeah, REI could be going belly-up any day now. Uh huh.

 

On a positive note, though, the catalog that came with this year's dividend featured La Sportiva Katanas, which is the first high performance climbing shoe REI has carried in years. Perhaps the sleeping giant is waking up?

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My local REI did the same thing recently. Nothing good on the first floor and climbing gear gets a cubby upstairs. More room for all the soft goods is the name of the game.

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Does anybody remember the old Eddie Bauer back in the days...
Yeh, I remember their goose down parkas and sleeping bags. Back then, Abercrombie and Fitch sold overpriced gear to old-money hunters and fisherman. Retail outlets reinvent themselves, for better or worse. Often they do go bankrupt, at least temporarily—whether from mistaken reinventions or failure to move with the times.

 

If there's a demand for climbing gear, someone will be along to sell it. That "someone" might not be REI forever.

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I was frustrated as hell going in to spend my measly dividend this last weekend. they hid the climbing gear in the back, away from the obvious point of sale next to the pinnacle. REI's focus definitely has been on the dollar, and no longer on their roots. I was trying on a harness and they forgot

 

However, given as frustrated I am with them, I will always go where the big deals are... My REI shopping trips usually include rummaging through the clearance bins... Usually its crap, but sometimes there are some real gems in there.

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Does anybody remember the old Eddie Bauer back in the days before many of you were born. They used to have climbing stuff. They went to clothes becuase they had better margins.

 

If REI wants to move to better margins and more turnover on product...then good for them. In the retail industry you have to have a good location, decent margins, good turnover, and low overhead. Otherwise you will go belly up...

 

rolleyes.gif Yeah, REI could be going belly-up any day now. Uh huh.

 

On a positive note, though, the catalog that came with this year's dividend featured La Sportiva Katanas, which is the first high performance climbing shoe REI has carried in years. Perhaps the sleeping giant is waking up?

 

Or acknowledging the explosive growth of climbing gyms.

 

"Bouldering, its the new Yoga"

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Ok. I've read many of these rants before and since an actual employee has not stepped in to voice their opinion yet on this thread, I will. I've been an REI employee for 5 years now and have had my ups and downs there. I've actually had a "conversation" with my management about using the term "Evil Empire" in an email at work. Someone had mentioned they treat their employees like crap. My management totally went to bat for me and kept me from getting fired. They talked about how they could relate at times but that is part of the reality of retail. I wouldn't make statements like yours based upon the observations of your lazy, stoner friend who couldn't show up to work on time. Is REI getting out of climbing? Of course they are to some extent. The members that used to be putting up FAs and climbing hard are now into comfort bikes and Nalgenes for their grandkids. Is that REI's fault. No. Also, as a retailer, they've got to go where the money is, and climbers as a group don't drop the same type of change as the rest of the population, thus the cheezy pink Nalgenes and bone shaped keychain carabiners. If you want to whine about somebody selling out, look at the climbing population for not better voicing their opinions. Here is a very passionate community that obviously has strong feelings and the result is nothing but a new REI sucks thread every other week. By the way the REI sucks thread from a while back was great except the fact that the original poster's story had no basis in truth. I work with several of the people he got help from and they are quality people. Bottom line: it was his fault. Anyways back to my original ranting. Want to get somebody nominated to the board? Get petitions from members. Something like 10,000 are required but hey, you've got one good internet forum here and there's others out there as well. Another reason for climbing gear shrinking in the stores is just that. Shrink. That's the term in retail for when product mysteriously vanishes. Is soccer mom and latte dad swiping cams? Those bastards!! No, it's climbers. And you're not screwing the man when you're walking out with stolen gear. You're pissing off other climbers because it makes it that much harder to keep those things around. I have a hard time justifying keeping our best selling cam, BD Camalots in store because they have a sell/steal ratio of about 3:1. Not very good on an item that costs a lot to buy from BD in the first place. REI being a co-op, and it is, doesn't have the cash to expand like you're all talking about. Opening 4-6 stores a year is not out of control, money grubbing expansion. It's conservative, make sure we're in buisness 50 years from now expansion. We were hit very hard with this crap of a winter we just had and only through smart choices and savvy leadership will this not greatly affect our end of year results. And where does that great leadership come from. Those "over-paid" executives that we swiped from other big retailers because they wanted to come work somewhere with great people who's only purpose at work is to get more people out and playing. Does that mean pushing high-margin product. Yes. Does that mean hassling you on the membership signup? Yes. Why? Because the only dollars for expansion come from the membership sale. Did you sign up for your membership in the original location? If not then shut up. Without that location being opened near you, you'd never have signed up, and maybe you don't shop there anymore and you hate the place but at some point that store got you excited and motivated to go outside. We're trying to do that same thing for people on the east coast. Hell only 5% of the Puget Sound is an REI member. Most of those other people will never get outside but their chances drastically increase if they are an REI member, so quit being so selfish and crying about REI changing and begin realizing that it still has the same purpose, it just doesn't quite suit you anymore. Do we sell the high-end, advanced climbing equipment anymore? No, but our customer doesn't want that. They want family camping tents and Nalgenes. Special order all the climbing crap you want and believe me we'll take notice and hopefully get more in store. I've been where you're at and totally pissed but it was usually because I didn't understand all the details. I read the Seattle Weekly article and was pissed as well, but it always comes back to the fact that we don't serve our members very well if we're out of buisness in a couple years. Sometimes that means decisions that you don't like but hey that's why we pay Dennis $1 million a year and not you!

 

Ahh, I feel much better. Seriously though, rather than us piss and moan back and forth at each other, I'd rather try and answer or find answers to specific concerns. I'd rather there was someone to let you guys know how things work on the other side of the Gore-Tex curtain than you go off on misinformed rages that potentially ward off people who might benefit from being an REI member. Please PM me if there's something we wronged you on or that you want to know more about and I'll try and be a better or less abrasive conduit than you've had in the past. Hope this all helps more than hurts.

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If REI stops selling climbing gear, won't more people go to Pro Mountain Sports for climbing gear? Seems like the unintended consequences might have some payoff.....

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I'm not an REI member. What 'benefit' am I actually missing?

 

I'd rather chase after the best deal then deal with the smoke-and-mirrors bullshit of a "co-op" that isn't.

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Ok. I've read many of these rants before and since an actual employee has not stepped in to voice their opinion yet on this thread, I will. I've been an REI employee for 5 years now and have had my ups and downs there. I've actually had a "conversation" with my management about using the term "Evil Empire" in an email at work. Someone had mentioned they treat their employees like crap. My management totally went to bat for me and kept me from getting fired. They talked about how they could relate at times but that is part of the reality of retail. I wouldn't make statements like yours based upon the observations of your lazy, stoner friend who couldn't show up to work on time. Is REI getting out of climbing? Of course they are to some extent. The members that used to be putting up FAs and climbing hard are now into comfort bikes and Nalgenes for their grandkids. Is that REI's fault. No. Also, as a retailer, they've got to go where the money is, and climbers as a group don't drop the same type of change as the rest of the population, thus the cheezy pink Nalgenes and bone shaped keychain carabiners. If you want to whine about somebody selling out, look at the climbing population for not better voicing their opinions. Here is a very passionate community that obviously has strong feelings and the result is nothing but a new REI sucks thread every other week. By the way the REI sucks thread from a while back was great except the fact that the original poster's story had no basis in truth. I work with several of the people he got help from and they are quality people. Bottom line: it was his fault. Anyways back to my original ranting. Want to get somebody nominated to the board? Get petitions from members. Something like 10,000 are required but hey, you've got one good internet forum here and there's others out there as well. Another reason for climbing gear shrinking in the stores is just that. Shrink. That's the term in retail for when product mysteriously vanishes. Is soccer mom and latte dad swiping cams? Those bastards!! No, it's climbers. And you're not screwing the man when you're walking out with stolen gear. You're pissing off other climbers because it makes it that much harder to keep those things around. I have a hard time justifying keeping our best selling cam, BD Camalots in store because they have a sell/steal ratio of about 3:1. Not very good on an item that costs a lot to buy from BD in the first place. REI being a co-op, and it is, doesn't have the cash to expand like you're all talking about. Opening 4-6 stores a year is not out of control, money grubbing expansion. It's conservative, make sure we're in buisness 50 years from now expansion. We were hit very hard with this crap of a winter we just had and only through smart choices and savvy leadership will this not greatly affect our end of year results. And where does that great leadership come from. Those "over-paid" executives that we swiped from other big retailers because they wanted to come work somewhere with great people who's only purpose at work is to get more people out and playing. Does that mean pushing high-margin product. Yes. Does that mean hassling you on the membership signup? Yes. Why? Because the only dollars for expansion come from the membership sale. Did you sign up for your membership in the original location? If not then shut up. Without that location being opened near you, you'd never have signed up, and maybe you don't shop there anymore and you hate the place but at some point that store got you excited and motivated to go outside. We're trying to do that same thing for people on the east coast. Hell only 5% of the Puget Sound is an REI member. Most of those other people will never get outside but their chances drastically increase if they are an REI member, so quit being so selfish and crying about REI changing and begin realizing that it still has the same purpose, it just doesn't quite suit you anymore. Do we sell the high-end, advanced climbing equipment anymore? No, but our customer doesn't want that. They want family camping tents and Nalgenes. Special order all the climbing crap you want and believe me we'll take notice and hopefully get more in store. I've been where you're at and totally pissed but it was usually because I didn't understand all the details. I read the Seattle Weekly article and was pissed as well, but it always comes back to the fact that we don't serve our members very well if we're out of buisness in a couple years. Sometimes that means decisions that you don't like but hey that's why we pay Dennis $1 million a year and not you!

 

Ahh, I feel much better. Seriously though, rather than us piss and moan back and forth at each other, I'd rather try and answer or find answers to specific concerns. I'd rather there was someone to let you guys know how things work on the other side of the Gore-Tex curtain than you go off on misinformed rages that potentially ward off people who might benefit from being an REI member. Please PM me if there's something we wronged you on or that you want to know more about and I'll try and be a better or less abrasive conduit than you've had in the past. Hope this all helps more than hurts.

Listen you little tool. Its 16,000´signatures in 3 months from active members (and no, they won´t give you a list) to be on the board ballot. And only 2 members can be from this process, the rest are board nominations.The rest of your points show you be the dumbass everyone treats REI employees as. Management does listen to forums like this, and responds quite quickly to angry letters. Trying to head off reform?

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Yes, at one point REI was still a unique idea but they have simply gotten too big.

 

Take the so-called "flagship" store as an example. This is possibly the largest REI in the empire. Now I would think that the only "benefit" a member would get from a store being this size is that you would be guaranteed that they will have what you want. Over the years however you will always notice that they happen to be out of stock in whatever item it is that you want to buy.

 

Bike tires? "Sorry, its not bike season."

Clothing? "We have plenty of Smalls and XXLs in stock."

Just the other day I wanted to buy BD trek poles and get snowshoe baskets at the same time. No, they don't carry that particular accessory.

The list goes on and on and on.

 

You say we should all place "special orders" for this kind of stuff? If you do this they will make you pay for the special shipping and handling, effectively eliminating the need for REI in the first place. Once I wanted the official Silva leather case for my compass which no one carries. A $15 accessory. To special order this thing with fees and such would have run between $25 and $30!

 

MEC rules. bigdrink.gif

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Thanks for the insight Baltoro.I did not know that people could be nominated for the board. Maybe something those on this board should consider? Dru seem sto have lots of time on his hands.

 

Although I do not think REI has been marketing directly to the urban campers, I do think that they could/should do something to reach those that feel ostracized. I think that they can progress the company while still holding onto their roots. I do agree that REI makes people want to be active in the outdoors. I remember back in Spokane, I was so friggin excited to go to our measly little REI any chance I got. I had the store floor memorized. If it weren’t for REI I would not have my gear. The vast majority (75%) of that gear was purchased on sale. I'm sorry but I can't complain about paying $60 for new skis that retailed for $850. Or $25 for a tent that retailed for $400, $60 jacket that retailed for $285, $50 pack that retailed for $150. $10 for a $70 stove, $100 for a $900 car rack system. I could go on all day. I don’t think that means I sold out the little guy I just think it means I have more gear and more money left over than you. Thanks REI! And because of gear shops like REI I now get "frigging excited" to go to places like Feathered Friends, Second Ascent and Gi Joes......Ok kidding about Joes. And hey Dennis Madsen can keep his 1M/year. I've met and talked with him, he is a cool guy. I guess my fear is that REI is headed down the E.B. road. Gear and clothes.......Some gear more clothes......no gear all clothes......Come out with an REI edition Subaru.......Close all stores and dissappear. That would be sad.

 

Peace

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Listen you little tool. Its 16,000´signatures in 3 months from active members (and no, they won´t give you a list) to be on the board ballot. And only 2 members can be from this process, the rest are board nominations.The rest of your points show you be the dumbass everyone treats REI employees as. Management does listen to forums like this, and responds quite quickly to angry letters. Trying to head off reform?

 

Uh Oh! someone is cranky again. Time for a vacation back to SA? wazzup.gif

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Any of you ever had a girlfriend/boyfriend who you just didn't click with anymore? Though you didn't really like hanging around with her/him anymore, you surely didn't mind when she/he came over to your place and performed sexual favors, so you didn't totally tell them to take off, cause if like, the milk's free... and hell sometimes she/he was good to have on your arm at parties to show off.

 

Old burnt-out flame = climbers

uninterested, but happy to take the sex person = REI

 

Those whining about the past, should know that you, "can't go home again." It's over. If you're happy with the current relationship, great. If not, maybe it would be better if you moved on. bigdrink.gif

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