The US economy may be ailing, but REI is feeling good.
The cooperative gear outfitter, which currently runs 114 stores nationwide, plans to open more stores this year, including shops in Woodbridge, Va., Paramus, N.J., Yonkers, N.Y. and Manhattan, according to a story in the Washington Post.
REI did $1.46 billion is sales in 2009 and refunded $80 million of that back to its 3.9 million members. Them’s big numbers.
So how is a retail chain thriving in these tough times?
Apparel industry guru, Mary Bret Whitfield, told the Post that consumers don’t “trade down . . . for hobbies and outdoor pursuits.”
She also noted the Pata-Gucci crowd who don’t necessarily put outdoor gear to the test, but do dig outdoorsy fashions. Think Wall Street bankers and their families on vacation in Aspen. They have to do something with all that money they stole, right?
Photo: Terry Chay