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In 1938 Lloyd and Mary Anderson founded Recreational Equipment Incorporated, better known as REI. They originally ordered an Akadem Pickel ice axe from Austria. This purchase gave them the idea to set up a cooperative in order to help other outdoor enthusiasts obtain the quality climbing gear at a reasonable price.

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They focused primarily on equipment for backpackers, mountaineering expeditions, and other serious climbers though out the 1970’s. In the 1980’s there was a change in the Board of Directors and because of this there was a shift towards other outdoor such as kayaking, camping, and bicycling.

There is a membership fee for those interested in becoming a member; it’s a nominal $20 fee that gives members a life time membership.


Even though REI is a member owned corporation, over 80 of their business is done in their retail outlets. That means that they need good people to work in the stores.


One of these specialized positions is the customer service specialist. This position requires processing purchase transactions at the register, selling memberships, and to help the customers with other issues that might come up. Another position is the cashier specialist. This position is responsible for processing purchase transactions to customer, and other services necessary to ensure customer satisfaction. If you know more about their products then you might consider the sales specialist position. This position is required to have a working knowledge of all their products and services and use this knowledge to help customers.

REI job benefits include:

  • Compensation
  • Incentive Pay
  • Retirement and Profit Sharing
  • Health, Life and Disability Plans (medical, dental, vision)
  • Professional Growth & Development
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Challenge Grant
  • Time Away from WorkPaid Time Off
  • Family and Medical Leave
  • Personal Leave of Absence
  • REI employees receive 50% discounts on REI Gear and Apparel.
  • Recognition for great work performance (awards)
  • Culture & Work Environment
  • Work/Life Employee Assistance
  • Public Transit Subsidy
  • Employee Referral Bonus
  • Relocation Support
  • REI Sabbaticals
  • Adoption Assistance

They also have several contact centers. Here they support online orders and catalog customers over the phone. As a Contact Center Representative you will be responsible for being the first line of contact for these customers. You’ll take orders, update information, and answer any questions. You’ll work to provide great customer service to build customer and member relationships.

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