REI Reviews

Updated August 20, 2015
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REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke
Jerry Stritzke
9 Ratings

Pros
  • Had forgot what work-life balance was like until I came here (in 60 reviews)

  • It is a good part-time (emphasis on (in 49 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 37 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

32 Employee Reviews

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  1. Sad to see what REI has become

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Service Desk Analyst in Puyallup, WA
    Former Employee - Service Desk Analyst in Puyallup, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at REI full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits, Prodeals, and Discounts

    Cons

    HQ has become another bastion of Corporate America, gone is the feeling that this is a co-op our jobs should be fun. It is all about profit and no longer about people . REI should drop its Co-op Standing and go public if all that drives it is profit.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Not so friendly...is it?

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist in Saratoga, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist in Saratoga, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at REI (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are good discounts. That's about it.

    Cons

    1. You need to work 20 hours per week to get into the health care. How can you average 20 hours per week when they don't even schedule you? 2. No matter how good you are, how much you work, how much great customer service you provide, how far you go, how you make yourself available, and how you come into work because they need you, even though it's your day off, how much you work your behind off--it doesn't matter, unless you sell a membership every shift. 3. They will take your hours away if you are not meeting membership goals. Even though you don't want to be pestering people all the time, they make you feel like a car salesman. 4. Favoritism 5. Cliquey 6. Low Paying, but they want you to go above and beyond. 7. Very inconsistent hours. You can go from 28 hours one week, to 5 hours the next week, to 14 works the week after.

    Advice to Management

    Get off your high horse, and start paying attention to employees. Stop picking favourites


  3. Helpful (4)

    Co-op to Corporate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Discounts, some flexibility in schedule

    Cons

    Management is never on the floor working with employees; they use you and mgmt doesnt seem to appreciate your efforts; its a lot of work and they expect you to over achieve for little pay

    Advice to Management

    go back to school to learn how to interact with employees and people and staff; learn how to be a real boss instead of a passive aggressive weakling


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Memberships are all that matter to this company.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist in Northbrook, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist in Northbrook, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at REI part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Gear discount Work with some cool people into outdoorsy activity.

    Cons

    Memberships are everything. It doesn't matter to them how well you connect with customers or the amount of product you sell, you're only as good to them as the number of memberships you push onto people. No more, no less. Low wages. Working at REI is like working at Wall-mart or another "big-box" store. Pushy, paranoid managers treat you like a school kid, regardless of expertise or proficiency. Managers play favorites. They will gossip.

    Advice to Management

    My advice is directed more to people at the corporate level, including the CEO: you took everything that made REI great, marginalized it, and spit out a corporate facsimile that's remarkably antithetical to the original concept of REI. This is insulting and you owe all of your loyal customers and employees an apology. Also, don't treat everyone like they're stupid. They may be (intentionally) misinformed, but they're not dumb: if the majority of membership revenue was actually being used to foster environmental causes and education, you wouldn't instruct your managers to be that pushy about it. There's something curiously dishonest about membership sales at REI and I would encourage every customer and employee to be more inquisitive about what's actually going on. Don't accept the corporate propaganda - find the truth!!!


  6. Helpful (6)

    Store Design & Visual Merchandising

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kent, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kent, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at REI full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    ProDeal - you get to buy products from selected vendors at crazy low prices.

    Cons

    Everybody overworked Stressful atmosphere Work-Life balance that they are so proud of is practically non-existent.


  7. Helpful (2)

    As soon as the starting managers left for better jobs the place was a living nightmare and disordered.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Frontline, Banking, Outerwear in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Frontline, Banking, Outerwear in McLean, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at REI part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fun people to work with, interesting stories from customers wishing you were going on their trips

    Cons

    pay rate low not enough to live, no steady management, exploitation, No flexibility for students so you better find someone who could cover your shift or your terminated they don't want to train people in needed areas such as banking.. well guess what I was terminated and passed my college courses.

    Advice to Management

    listen to your employees if you want to keep them


  8. Helpful (3)

    Information Technology

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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


  9. Helpful (3)

    They are the Walmart of the outdoors for a reason.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Northville, MI
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Northville, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Very disillusioned about eroding company values.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Frontline Cashier in Arcadia, CA
    Former Employee - Frontline Cashier in Arcadia, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at REI part-time (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 Management

    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.


  11. Helpful (4)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist in Brookfield, WI
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist in Brookfield, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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.



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