REI grown too big for its britches? By Craig Medred - When
kayaker Andy Ryan in Seattle - REI member 348240 - got the runaround
from America's largest consumer cooperative, climber Neil O'Donnell
in Anchorage - REI member 1228171 - got mad.
And therein lies a story, but
first a little background.
As many know, REI is the acronym
that grew into the common name for one of America's largest outdoor
retailers. The company started in 1938 as Recreational Equipment
Inc., a Seattle-based consumer cooperative.
On paper, it remains a cooperative.
And in its self-promotion, REI makes almost as big a deal of
this as it does of its social consciousness and environmental
"Being a cooperative business
remains central to REI," the company proclaims on its Web
site. www.rei.com. "While nonmembers are welcome to shop
at REI, only members enjoy special benefits, including an annual
member refund on eligible purchases." - More...
Tuesday - March 01, 2005