Specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op will open a store in Sarasota, Florida in fall 2023. The location will offer a wide assortment of apparel, gear and expertise for camping, cycling, running, fitness, hiking, paddling, climbing and more. For those who adventure on two wheels, a full-service bike shop will be staffed by certified mechanics.
“Ten years ago, we opened our first store in Florida with a Jacksonville location. We’ve long recognized the opportunity to better serve our customers who live and play in the Sarasota area, as they have been driving an hour to our Tampa store,” said Les Hatton, REI regional director. “Incredible natural places such as Alafia State Park, Myakka River State Park, Robinson Preserve and many others offer some of the best cycling, paddling, hiking, bird watching, and outdoor activities in the state. We look forward to being a resource to the community and building lasting relationships with regional nonprofits.”
- Location: University Town Center, 161 North Cattlemen Road
- Store Size: 25,000 square feet
- Store Features: Full-service bike shop, buy online-pick up in store, curbside pickup
- REI Co-op Membership: 114,000 members in the Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota) DMA and 512,000 members in Florida
- REI Stores in Florida: Tampa (56 miles away, opened 2021), Winter Park (128 miles away, opened 2017), Palm Beach Gardens (165 miles away, opened 2022), Gainesville (173 miles away, opened 2020), Boca Raton, (222 miles away, opened 2020), Jacksonville, (256 miles away, opened 2013), Tallahassee (299 miles away, opened 2022)
As the country’s largest consumer co-op, anyone is welcome to tap into the expertise of REI’s store staff and online resources such as its Expert Advice library to learn or advance skills, plan adventures, and more. Members who join the co-op enjoy a range of benefits, including a used gear trade-in program called Re/Supply; discounts on shop services and experiences; a share of the co-op’s annual profits based on qualifying purchases; and more. In addition to discounts at the co-op’s bike shop, REI members receive free flat-tire repair (labor only).
REI believes deeply in supporting the long-term health of the outdoors. The co-op has invested millions of dollars in local nonprofits to steward trails, waterways and parks and connect people to the outdoors. Over the last five years, Florida land agencies and nonprofit partners have received more than $450,000. Last year, $102,500 was distributed to 15 nonprofits across the state, including Alafia State Park, Florida State Parks Foundation and Florida Trail Association. Complementing REI’s community investments, REI’s Cooperative Action Fund invests in nonprofits to build a more equitable and inclusive outdoor community. Florida recipients include Adaptive Adventures (Tampa and Miami), Black Girls RUN! Foundation chapters throughout the state, and HBCUs Outside (Tallahassee).
Join the REI team
REI expects to hire approximately 50 employees for REI Sarasota. Candidates interested in joining the team can apply online at REI.com/jobs and learn about the general hiring timeline. Candidates can set a job alert on the co-op’s career site to be notified when positions post. All employees will receive a wide variety of benefits, including generous product and service discounts, competitive pay and retirement contributions. REI employees also enjoy unique perks, such as two paid annual “Co-op Way Days” that allow them to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity and an additional paid day off on Black Friday to encourage all employees to #OptOutside. REI is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace that enables a life outdoors for everyone. The co-op seeks candidates who demonstrate shared values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism.
About the REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 21.5 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 181 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.