Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Doug

REI - The Evil Empire

Recommended Posts

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

I´m in Argentina right now wave.gif

 

I tried to play REI´s management game, it irritates me greatly when people claim you can too - they´ve stacked the deck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Screw you man!! REI and I will work it out. We'll be just fine!! REI loves me. It was built for me and me alone.

OH GOD YOU'RE RIGHT, ITS OVER!!! cry.gif REI is a fickle fickle tease. "come to me I have cheap stuff", "NO! GO AWAY, we don't carry that anymore"

Why...... cry.gif........Why.......... cry.gif......Why?

 

(psssssttt......i still love you baby, i'll be back)

 

yelrotflmao.gif

well put chuck

bigdrink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I´m in Argentina right now"

 

Sweeeeet! How is it?

bigdrink.gif

Edited by K_Y_L_E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rockband.gif It rocks as always. rockband.gif

 

If you go, I recommend not making Commodor Rivadavia a stop on your trip though. Ugh, windy oiltowns. At least there´s lomo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

Dude you expect me to read some masive paragraph...get real wazzup.gif

 

So how do you like working at Nordstroms anyway???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

 

thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif Well said... even though I'm a whiner!

 

To those whining, including myself, REI is still actually serving its members. However, the majority of its members are not climbers, or even wannabes. Obviously, the majority of its members like what they sell, and want more. They wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't true.

 

[start of whining]

 

What I don't care for though, is REI's heavy handed mentality when it comes to distributors and manufacturers. In that sense, they are somewhat similar to WalMart. "Do it OUR way, or we won't buy from you." WalMart really isn't to blame though... GM and the other auto makers started the game long ago. And what did THAT do for quality? Sorry... I digress.

 

Next time you're looking through the MEC catalog and wish you could get those cool things shipped to you in the US that aren't stocked or even carried at your local "we have everything outdoors" cooperative, be sure to thank REI for leaning on the distributors to cut off MEC's ability to ship outside of Canada. THAT is when I pretty much stopped shopping at REI. Companies that have to focus on keeping other folks out of the market, instead of doing a good job at what they're in business for and reaping the rewards, are focusing on the wrong thing.

 

[end of whining]

 

-kurt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

 

Correlation does not equal causation. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

 

You can't claim that becoming an REI members is what causes people to pursue outdoor recreation. I think it's far more likely to be the inverse of that statement.

 

At this point REI is where I go when I'm making a purchase on something that might be damaged or roughly treated, due to the warranty. They ARE NOT the place to go if you want selection, advice, price.... etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

Dude you expect me to read some masive paragraph...get real wazzup.gif

 

So how do you like working at Nordstroms anyway???

 

Note to would-be ranters: use paragraph breaks. They're not just for professionals!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to know if any ranters of REI have ever managed an outdoor retail business? Big or small. Don't matter. I wonder what Jim Nelson would say about the importance of product mix, products that have turnover, low inventory levels.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to know if any ranters of REI have ever managed an outdoor retail business? Big or small. Don't matter. I wonder what Jim Nelson would say about the importance of product mix, products that have turnover, low inventory levels.....

 

OK... I'll bite - Nope, never have run a outdoor retail business, or any retail business for that matter.

 

Stefan, I don't think anyone here whining is saying that REI shouldn't diversify it's offerings. We all know that they need to sell more than hardware to survive. No question about it.

 

But my personal beef is the heavy-handedness that I mentioned in a previous post. And others, in my opinion, have a beef with REI using the "climber image" to promote itself, yet not giving a rip about what that demographic wants.

 

There's a difference between product mix ala "Pro Mountain Sports" and product mix ala "REI." While not speaking for him, (and also not related to him although we share a last name) I think Jim's goals and REIs goals are a little different - except for the "staying in business" part.

 

-kurt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But my personal beef is the heavy-handedness that I mentioned in a previous post. And others, in my opinion, have a beef with REI using the "climber image" to promote itself, yet not giving a rip about what that demographic wants.

 

It is called marketing.

 

Outside magazine is marketed for "wannabes". SUVs are marketed the same way--funny how I have never seen a Land Rover, a Mercedes SUV, or BMW SUV ever on a logging road.

 

The climbing product mix is determined at REI headquarters by the climbing department. How much is purchased is also determined at the REI headquarters by the climbing department. If you feel you are being underserviced, then write a letter to the climbing department manager at REI AHQ. They do read them. REI is a high service orientated operation and I am sure they would excel in any type of service. I believe you can order any piece of climbing equipment you choose at the service desk--that may have changed but I am not sure. Many of the decisions on product mix, and inventory levels are based on results of historical performance for that department REI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is called marketing.

 

Agreed. Nothing wrong with it. They have the right to market however they want as much as people have the right to gripe.

 

Many of the decisions on product mix, and inventory levels are based on results of historical performance for that department REI.

 

Yup. And if you don't stock it, you aren't going to sell it. And that doesn't do wonders for "historical performance" of a department.

 

I'm not an "evil empire" ranter - I shop there when I'm in a bind. Doesn't mean I have to like it though.

 

-kurt

 

PS... I have written letters. I don't just whine here.

 

PPS... And I have actually seen Land Rovers and BMWs on logging roads. Their owners didn't seem to happy though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
REI is a high service orientated operation and I am sure they would excel in any type of service. I believe you can order any piece of climbing equipment you choose at the service desk--that may have changed but I am not sure.

rei ¨listens¨ like my grandmother does. You hear a yes, they don´t get what you are saying. Or in this case, they´d prefer you didn´t exist. Like when you ask to special order a Screamer,and they tell you they can´t because the price code ends in .99. and you say, but that´s retail?! And they say no can do. Get out more.

 

And my Mercedes sedan went down many a logging road. the_finger.gifrockband.gif 300k miles rockband.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

REI relies on it's climbers cachet to get non-climbers in the door to bask in the aura of adventure. City folk who don't enjoy outdoor activities still like to project that image to their urban friends. The store needs to maintain some degree of support for climbers or they risk losing the only thing that distinguishes it from other retailers. It's like a balancing act. You definitely make more money from the non climbing goods, but you have to keep that image to get people in the store.

 

I feel that at the moment, the balance is tipped too far away from climbing for it to sustain its hip image, long term. So far, though, everything is just swell with the balance SHEET, apparently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought my chi and chakra at REI. I exchanged them for a 4 season tent. in retrospect not such a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, lots of angry comments...everyone needs to take a tranquility break.
Don't get me wrong. I don't have any beef with REI. They have done some great things for the community. For example they donated a lot of money to help refurbish Schurman Rock at Camp Long. They give back to the community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, lots of angry comments...everyone needs to take a tranquility break.

Can I borrow your guns for my ¨tanquility¨ break?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is this "tanquility" thing of which you speak? Some new-agey form of tanning?

 

It's the deep feeling of calm that comes over you after you drink a fifth of Tanqueray. bigdrink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is this "tanquility" thing of which you speak? Some new-agey form of tanning?

 

It's the deep feeling of calm that comes over you after you drink a fifth of Tanqueray. bigdrink.gif

 

and before you start puking. wink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×