REI Reviews

Updated August 25, 2014
Updated August 25, 2014
508 Reviews

3.5
508 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke
Jerry Stritzke
77 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    It's a family

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

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

    Pros

    REI has taken excellent care of me over the years. They've paid me tuition reimbursement for school, given me a grant of gear to run a marathon, contributed largely to my retirement savings and just clearly have the best in mind for their employees. Schedules are flexible and the team works hard to make time-off requests work so you can have a full life. The company proudly supports gay marriage, and works hard to be a good employer for minorities including but not limited to racial and ethnic minorities and sexual and gender minorities (trans people). Oh, and your coworkers will become the shining light you look forward to daily. :)

    Cons

    It's still a co-op and a family, which is great, but the very fact that people are so valued and trusted means no micromanagement. Sounds awesome until you have to humor someone else's dumb idea. Keep this in mind when you pitch your own dumb ideas. Everybody's opinion counts.
    Also, staffing varies hugely throughout the year. It's a retail necessity. I advise anyone to have REI be a second job if they're not going into management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good job, Jerry Stritzke! You rock and I appreciate what you do. Thanks for allowing us to host free classes for employees, thanks for lots of awesome things, like the gear bank and being open to hearing from all REI employees. Thanks for meeting us in person, too. I do request that you please re-vamp the review process so that most people don't have to be told they're average (sucks to hear that, no one likes to think of themselves that way), and also please keep up the hard work to promote women and minorities. The job is not done yet.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    My experience at REI has been a roller coaster of highs and lows.

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

    I have been working at REI full-time

    Pros

    The people that you work with and the quality of the customers that shop at REI are outstanding. Inspiring, educating and outfitting customers is a joyful, rewarding, and important mission and is truly interesting and inspiring.

    Cons

    The pay is not enough to afford to keep up with the rising cost of living or to afford to take my family on any of the incredible adventures that we outfit our customers for. Staff get starved for hours and turnover is consistent because they just can't pay their bills on what we provide.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It seems to me that the leadership above the store level is woefully out of touch of the staffing needed to realistically deliver on our service promise at the store level. There is an ever rising tide of unfunded expectations on the stores to keep up with the programs, directives and initiatives which are frequently disorganized and rushed that come out of REI headquarters. The payroll provided to stores to keep up with the fleet of people at our headquarters sending tasks to the stores takes away from our mission of inspiring our customers to succeed in their pursuits. Customers aren't inspired at all by not having the help they expect and that we promise because we consistently run way too thin with available sales help. We exceedingly fall short on that promise because we just aren't staffed sufficiently for the detailed and complicated nature of our business. So my advice is staff our stores better, not create more work for already very overtaxed store store teams. They need to be inspired too.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    If you want to buy some gear...

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

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

    Pros

    employee discounts called prodeals, customers can be interesting, no cleaning, simple, coworkers can be interesting,

    Cons

    low pay, boring work, silly talk about co-op philosphy when it is really just a sporting goods store, coworker competition to sell memberships results in unkind interactions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop deluding yourselves into thinking this is a high-minded endeavor. this company is like most sporting goods stores yet doesn't have any fishing gear.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Help us, help you.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Retail Sales Manager
    Current Employee - Retail Sales Manager

    I have been working at REI

    Pros

    The people that I work alongside everyday keep me coming back. I have never worked with such a committed crew.

    Cons

    Stretched too thin to provide the prescribed customer engagement. Directives from HQ are disjointed and unrealistic at a store level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Payroll is supremely underfunded to maintain adequate staffing levels. Staff are burned out resulting in higher turnover and customers not finding the level of service they have come to expect. Super high expectations for a pay scale that is below industry standard. Add incentives for your knowledgeable, committed and dedicated staff. Stop rolling out half-baked processes and procedures.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    I believe company is in a "free-fall"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate  in  Bedford, PA
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate in Bedford, PA

    I have been working at REI full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great discounts, great co-workers and decent benefits

    Cons

    Increasing amount of dishonesty among supervisory personnel. Employees are constantly misled about what is going on with scheduling, availability of work and job security. Instead of treating employees with respect and encouragement, they are told "deal with it, or we will fill your position with temps"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is really pathetic that supervisors that should set the example feel the need to lie to higher ups, and they promote those who they can manipulate, rather than those who do a good job. The entire company needs a good housecleaning. Hope the new CEO finds discovers the number of incompetent people who have found their way to the top.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good for part time college work

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

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

    Pros

    The discount was great and all my coworkers were super nice. Managers were always willing to help and as long as you gave enough notice, they would usually give you the time off you needed. They worked well with my school schedule. The training was very thorough and I felt prepared by the time I was on the floor.

    Cons

    The emphasis on the memberships was sometimes overwhelming. I understand that REI is a co-op and survives because of memberships, but my hours got cut because I only met 98% of my goal and I always felt like managers were hovering over me when I tried to sell the memberships. Also, I worked there right when the return policy changed so there were many, many unhappy customers. I didn't make a living wage, but it was fine for a few months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe change how employees are impacted by membership sales.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Great company trying to figure out where to go from here

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

    I worked at REI full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great people and benefits make for a great environment.

    Cons

    Shifting focus from traditional outdoor customers to a larger demographic to keep growing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    One of the best retailers to work for!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Specialist  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Sales Specialist in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    I love the gear, our customers and the team I work with. I never dread going to work and find myself putting in extra time. I love what REI stands for and find it easy to talk about the Co-Op. I really appreciate the direction that executive management is taking our company.

    Cons

    Pay is not the best, but fair considering comparable employers. Management above the store level seems to be more interested in their own career advancement. I think our marketing folks are too focused on the next trend and sometimes lose site of our core customer and our competencies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep pushing us to exceed our customer's expectations. Keep pushing to improve the technical tools that help make our jobs effective and efficient. This is especially important relative to the selling process in the store (as opposed to the online experience).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fun, but impossible to make any money.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Specialist  in  Tysons Corner, VA
    Current Employee - Sales Specialist in Tysons Corner, VA

    I have been working at REI part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    REI has some of the best customers in the retail world- they want to be there talking to you and very rarely come in because they need someone to yell at. Other employees share your passions and are always up for getting together for a hike or a ride. Pro-deals are fantastic, as are the benis.

    Cons

    It gets really hard to drink the kool-aid there sometimes. Between management blatantly lying, never enough hours for the people who want them, and the absurd inability of the management team to agree on how to do things, it's frustrating to try and get hyped about explaining how awesome a company it is to customers every day. I have had weeks during the slow season where I wasn't even on the schedule- you never know week to week what kind of hours/money you'll get next week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with your employees. And communicate with each other before changing procedures, so your employees aren't getting yelled at by three different managers to do things three different ways. It will cost less to bump the people who want it up to full time than it will to train new hires to work two shifts a week for six months. And it you wont give anyone full time, give them fixed schedules to they can feasibly work elsewhere. Also, the whole not being able to work more than 24 hours on a holiday week or you get OT thing is supposed to help your employees make more money for working during the holidays, not cut their paychecks down by limiting their hours.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Action Sports Sales Rep

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist - Action Sports  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist - Action Sports in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    Awesome coworkers and environment. Great discounts on gear. The company has an inspiring mission statement and really does care about customer satisfaction.

    Cons

    REI is a co-op, owned by its members. The main performance metric is membership sales, which puts the emphasis on finding and assisting new members rather than on quality service for loyal customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Design a better system for gauging employee performance. Just give away membership, or sell it for a dollar, if the issue is creating brand loyalty through a membership discount program.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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