REI Reviews

Updated October 13, 2014
Updated October 13, 2014
505 Reviews
3.6
505 Reviews
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REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke
Jerry Stritzke
94 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Had forgot what work-life balance was like until I came here (in 58 reviews)

  • If you're looking for a part time job that pays well this is a great place to start (in 47 reviews)


Cons
  • The pressure of having to sell memberships when most people are already members was too much for me (in 41 reviews)

  • Hours are intentionally shy of full time for 80% of staff; maybe to cut costs for employee benefits (in 36 reviews)

More Highlights

26 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Information Technology

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

    I worked at REI

    Pros

    Employee Discount; long term employees care so much about the organization and values.

    Cons

    The politics in the IT department is some of the worst I have ever seen. Instead of it being an "old boys" network; it has now become an "old girls"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a leader from a top tier company who has the relationship management and leadership skills to be inclusive and inviting to all.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    They are the Walmart of the outdoors for a reason.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Northville, MI
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Northville, MI

    I have been working at REI part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You will get paid slightly more than most other retail positions. You will get good discounts on gear if you are into the outdoors.

    Cons

    There is a reason that REI has fallen from the top ten of best companies to work for and is now in the bottom. I predict they will no longer be on the list in the coming years. With the hiring of a new CEO from Coach REI has decided to forget everything that made them a store people want to shop at. They are slowly becoming just another retail outlet, at present they have dropped many of their ideas such as "balance" for their employees. There are new availability requirements that mean you must work 16 hours per weekend. Which essentially means you must work an 8 hour shift on Saturday and open to close on Sunday. So much for balance. If you are someone who enjoys the outdoors and wants to have time to do those things, look elsewhere. If you are someone looking for a second job that they can work, look elsewhere. REI was my second job for a long time but they have started pushing out people like me with their new availability requirements and their new found inflexibility. If you want just another retail job, go for it. If you want to work somewhere that only cares about metrics that have very little to do with your actual job performance, go for it. If you want to work for a great company that values balance and is ready to be a great place to work then you'll want to find a time machine and go back about 6 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    REI has been a growing company that makes tons of money for a long time. Go back to the values that made you a company that people wanted to work for and shop at.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people 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 (less than an 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
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  5. 2 people 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 (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
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (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
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (less than an 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
  8.  

    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 (more than an 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
  9. 7 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 (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
  10. 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 (more than an 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
  11. 8 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 (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

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