REI Reviews

Updated August 25, 2014
Updated August 25, 2014
493 Reviews
3.6
493 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke
Jerry Stritzke
85 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Possibility for work life balance, support and advancement in other divisions (in 52 reviews)

  • If you're looking for a part time job that pays well this is a great place to start (in 44 reviews)


Cons
  • The pressure of having to sell memberships when most people are already members was too much for me (in 38 reviews)

  • I regret ever getting involved with REI as a full-time gig (in 31 reviews)

More Highlights

25 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very disillusioned about eroding company values.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Frontline Cashier  in  Arcadia, CA
    Former Employee - Frontline Cashier in Arcadia, CA

    I worked at REI part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    All the Medical Benefits good

    Cons

    Think twice before working at REI. Long timers are sad to see REI becoming so corporate that it cares nothing for the well being of its employees. REI has lost sight of the important values that it claims to hold. It is sad to see a a company's values erode in its greedy clutch for money. The compensation is poor. There are really no perks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management is completely out of touch with staff at the Arcadia Ca. store. It is a shame. I worked at the Arcadia store as a seasonal employee. It became very clear that the only objective is to sell "memberships" and credit cards. My fiance stayed on to work part time. We have recently gotten married and the manager at the Arcadia store declined him 4 days off for a honeymoon. My husband has been consistently a top membership producer. Company life-work balance value is non existent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun place to work, but terrible, horrible, no-good management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist  in  Brookfield, WI
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist in Brookfield, WI

    I worked at REI full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - If you're an outdoorsy person, you already know REI's your toy store. The employee discount was 10%-50%, so it was pretty easy to get whatever you wanted.
    - For retail, the training was significant. Vendors came in often and gave talks, and there was plenty of hands-on time. A minor downside is having to go all the way out to the store on a day off to attend a training.
    - There's a variety of things to do each day in the store, so it's pretty tough to get bored.

    Cons

    - Useless, utterly insulting store-level management. Apart from the day-to-day complete lack of leadership, there was all manner of corporate double-speak and bureacracies. The real kicker came when a co-worker was accused of stealing. Apparently management had, in their infinite wisdom, decided to put a hidden camera in the stock room(!) to combat huge shrink numbers. They used the footage to fire said co-worker for theft when they saw him "moving things around" in back. Needless to say, "moving things around" was part of the job, and the whole thing just came off as paranoid and nuts. I left soon after that. I heard later the manager got REI's version of 'employee of the year' a few months later.

    - The pay is pretty terrible. Granted, I haven't worked there in a couple years, but I really doubt it's magically jumped up to the living-wage range. Benefits are available to part-time employees after a certain amount of time, but the health coverage was negligible and I don't think it even included dental.

    - I had open availability, but had to pick up shifts my co-workers dumped because I only got scheduled for 25 hours a week. Somehow, people with other jobs/kids/school were still scheduled the same hours week after week when they dropped shifts.

    - Not much room for upward mobility. There are a couple supervisors per store, a store manager and his/her asssitant. If you want decent hours and pay, you'll have to shoot for one of those spots, which will probably involve a transfer.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Misdirection

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist  in  Arcadia, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist in Arcadia, CA

    I worked at REI full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great discounts. Camaraderie amongst the employees.

    Cons

    Managers that have no product knowledge. Managers that do not believe in the REI philosophy of work/play balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Gut your stores management team. It is top heavy. I could manager a medium size store with two assistants. Quit being a pseudo green company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Terrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at REI part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great Discounts, Really liked the customers and the products

    Cons

    Never consistent hours. They never schedule you enough hours,but I came to find out REI runs all stores like that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dont tell new employees that they will get the hours they want when they know that will never happen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Bad store manager lead to a bad work experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Sales Associate

    I worked at REI part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Employee deals on REI products

    Cons

    Degrading/egotisical manager who would not help others made for an awful experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If there was a different store management team in place I'm sure I would have enjoyed my experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    Values are changing from genuine and authentic to corporate and fear-driven

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing  in  Kent, WA
    Current Employee - Marketing in Kent, WA

    I have been working at REI full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Some great people at REI. The pro deals can't be beat. Good health benefits.

    Cons

    Staff is overworked, work life balance varies by director, employees feel a sense of fear that they could be laid off at any time. Layoffs are covered up by managers blaming performance and leaving employees confused and embarrassed. Managers and Directors who don't embrace REI values (or do anything in the outdoors for that matter) are hired, and make changes that have negative impacts across the company. Technology is not supported with enough staff to maintain it. Leadership is not open to change or suggestions, unless it is their change or their suggestions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn and Live REI culture and activities. Be open to change in ways that you wouldn't be in a cutthroat environment. Realize you don't have all the answers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    Horrible disappointment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Kent, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kent, WA

    I worked at REI full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great discounts on gear. Prepare to fill your closets with all kinds of new toys and clothing. Some of the people were great.

    Cons

    Headquarters has awful management, little career growth, low salaries, and you are looked down on if you don't drink the kool-aid.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your act together.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 7 people found this helpful  

    Disturbing change in culture and values

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Kent, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kent, WA

    I worked at REI full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    pro deals on equipment, decent benefits

    Cons

    Store employees are treated like dirt unless you are a store manager-Headquarters is cut throat and downright viscous with everyone out for themselves. Upper management is disconnected, middle management is either incompetent old guard who are only there only due to how long they've been with the company, or were imported from somewhere else and they are not in touch with the culture and core values this company claims to uphold.

    Way behind the curve on technology, attempts to upgrade technology are stupidly expensive, drawn out and grossly mismanaged.

    Company espouses values while behaving in an entirely different manner. Store hours are cut to bare bones, HQ departments do not have enough staff to do the work, while "fat cat" "Executive Vice Presidents" are promoted and given larger and larger salaries.

    Cruelly executed layoffs, random dissolution of departments, decreased work life balance and an increasing disrespect for employees lower morale.

    This is no warm fuzzy co-op, it is a cutthroat corporation (upper management brags about being the "800 pound gorilla" in the market) caring only about profit and executive bonuses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get back to the core values REI claims to hold; keep up with technology, treat employees with value and respect, stop laying off the worker bees to promote and give raises to more and more "Executive Vice Presidents"

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    No longer a good place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at REI part-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Co-workers are great, caring, active people that are trying their best to stay positive at a time when morale is low. Great discounts on gear.

    Cons

    Rei (Fairfax)was a great place to work for many years but sadly the company is moving in the wrong direction. The pay is low, the hours are inconsistent and employees are scheduled just below the minimum threshold of hours so we don't receive holiday pay. Many of us have had to add vacation time to every pay period to keep our hourly average up so we don't lose our health insurance benefits (20hour average needed) because we are not scheduled enough hours. A few employee lost their insurance coverage. Many of us earn vacation time but don't make enough money to go anywhere. Morale is low and many employees would leave if they had an option and trust me they are looking. REI Fairfax is all about the numbers, selling memberships , cutting payroll and has become a very tense place to work with upper management watching your every move. Corporate control is high and my direct managers are really powerless to be advocates for their staff. Job advancement is virtually non existent since the restructuring a few years ago. Pay raises don't cover a cup of coffee a week. The only people who can afford to work here have a spouse who is the main bread winner or have a good full time job and work here part time for discounts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you are trying to become like any other big box store with CEO's at the top making money and employees who are NOT knowledgeable because all your long term people have left then congratulations you are succeeding. If not, then you really should look at what made this company great for so many years... Great employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Times Are Changing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Employee Looking for A Way Out  in  Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Employee Looking for A Way Out in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at REI full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Non management employees genuinely care about each other and the company but this is rapidly dissipating.

    The gear discounts are good at first but there is a point in time where you have all the gear one could possibly ever need not to mention that it is hard to afford the gear even at the discounted price.

    Remains a co-op...for now.

    Cons

    The Fairfax store, for many years, has been a home away from home and a place that you looked forward to the interactions of both employees and customers alike. Now, it takes every ounce of my being just to get out of the car and walk across the parking lot to work a dead end job where store moral has fallen off the table. Hours are cut during the slow periods to "meet business needs" all the while treated like a second class employee. Once business picks up, you are scheduled to the max of your availability and expected to care about a company that only a few short moths ago, cast you aside. Often times during this busy time you are scheduled six, seven, sometimes nine days in a row and if you speak up about it you are reminded how you wanted more hours. Employee turn-over is on the rise and there is nothing being done to retain the employees because management views you as expendable. The compensation and wage increases are a joke and are at the point of being just a notch above a slap in the face with no solid reason or goals of how you could do better and when asked how to make more money you are told to move up in the company but there is a lack of upward mobility and the "endorsement process" is a mythical process that has no guidelines. The endorsement process has lead to more departures of many, many high quality employees than is has seen promoted to the ranks of management. My advice to you is to seek employment with any other company but this one, if you are going to be treated like a second class employee, you might as well get paid more for it. There is a reason why this company dropped from a top 10 on Fortunes Top Companies To Work For list all the way down to 69th. The staff are crying out, lets not hope it falls on deaf ears.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start caring about you employees and treat them the way you expect them to treat your customers. This includes better wages and a welcoming environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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