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REI headquarters ‘restructuring’ involves layoffs

REI has reduced the workforce at its corporate headquarters near Seattle.

REI has made some organizational changes at its headquarters in Kent, Wash.

The specialty outdoor retailer has reduced the size of its headquarters team. REI has laid off 167 “leaders and employees,” which is less than 1% of the company’s total workforce, president and CEO Eric Artz said in a letter to employees. All the affected employees were notified via a conversation with a leader. 

As part of the restructuring, REI is also combining several headquarters divisions so that “teams are organized around a focused set of priorities.”

REI had a net income of $97.7 million in 2021. The retailer has not yet reported its 2022 financial results.

“It is vital that we get the co-op back to profitability as quickly as possible,” he said. “I know we can get there, but it will require each of us to work very differently. In the year ahead, we will align around a few vital strategic priorities to ensure we are making the best use of the co-op's resources to serve members, customers, and support our long-term impact goals.”

With regard to the staff cuts, Artz said the news “has a very real impact on people we care deeply about, and this period will be difficult.” All eligible full-time employees will receive a severance package. REI is also providing access to four months of health care through COBRA coverage, providing outplacement support and paying for remaining vacation time and 2022 bonuses.

REI made a number of additions to its corporate leadership team in 2022. In October, it named Target veteran Mary-Farrell Tarbox as VP, physical stores and retail operations. Earlier in the year, in May, it tapped Sylvia Wilks as its first senior VP, chief supply chain officer. It also named Minnie as VP, general counsel and corporate secretary.

[Read More: REI details plans for first satellite office]

REI is the nation’s largest consumer co-op. It has 179 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. REI’s active adventure travel company runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In 

To read Artz’s letter to employees, click here.

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