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Specialty outdoor retailer’s sales — and donations — surge


The nation’s largest consumer co-op reported a solid year amid ongoing sustainability achievements.

REI reported annual revenues of $2.56 billion in 2016, up 5.5% from $2.42 billion in 2015.

Same-store sales, which include direct to consumer sales, rose nearly 4% and digital sales grew by nearly 18%.

REI said it invested a record $9.3 million in nonprofit partners in 2016, and opened the country's most sustainable distribution center. The facility, in Arizona, is the first in the country to achieve LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy status.

In 2016, REI also continued to operate 100% on renewable energy at all stores, distribution centers and headquarters. Since 2008, REI's demand for energy from the grid has grown only 4% while sales have grown 78%.

"There is no doubt that the current retail landscape is challenging, but we had another good year," said Jerry Stritzke, CEO and president, REI, which operates 147 stores in 36 states. "I am grateful to our employees, our members and our customers for their passion and commitment to the co-op community. Your involvement and commitment to REI allows us to do things like help build the nation's trail network, protect public lands, and innovate in sustainability. Together we can continue to keep the outdoors healthy and accessible for the next generation."

In 2016, REI members received a record $193.7 million in annual dividends and credit card rebates. Members have the option of donating their dividend to The REI Foundation, if they choose.

REI shared $57 million with employees through retirement and incentive program contributions, and the co-op's record $9.3 million investment in more than 300 nonprofit partners benefited more than 1,000 outdoor places across the country.
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