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REI's Co-Op Style of Retail is Working

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

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Bloomberg calls REI one of the hottest retailers in the country, and they've got the numbers to back that up. The fitness and outdoor gear store's revenue went up 10 percent last year to $2.2 billion. Membership at the co-op company surged, too: REI added almost one million members last year, a 20% increase.

To become an REI member, customers pay in $20 and then get REI benefits including a 10 percent dividend for life on purchases of full-priced items. "The word I would hone in on is ‘community,’" REI CEO Jerry Stritzke told Bloomberg by way of explaining REI's success. REI plans to add to their 138 stores across the US, and the store's co-op structure allowed them to start a travel agency of sort with adventure outdoor classes.