REI announced that it is sharing a record amount with its loyal members, returning $168 million through its annual dividend. The outdoor specialty store has 5.5 million members, 945,000 of which joined the co-op in 2014.
The record annual revenues for the co-op reached $2.2 billion, a 9.9 percent increase from 2013. REI plans to invest almost $8 million in nonprofits and new projects as part of its mission to give back to the outdoor community.
"Joining REI has transformed my view of business," said Jerry Stritzke, REI's president and CEO. "We aim for steady growth so that we can invest in the outdoors. That's a powerful formula that encourages us to think and act long-term. I love being part of the co-op because success for us means giving back to the outdoor community and helping people live life outside."
REI is the country's largest consumer co-op. With a one-time $20 investment anyone can become a member for life. When the co-op performs well, members receive an annual 10 percent dividend based on their eligible annual purchases.
Stritzke noted that the company's e-commerce business has been doing well, along with in-store sales.
Big on giving back, the co-op will invest $5.7 million in the nonprofit work in 2015, in addition to other philanthropic investments from the REI Foundation.
Comparable store sales increased 4.2 percent in 2014. REI Adventures grew by 19.4 percent and REI Outdoor School grew by 28 percent.
Last year the company launched the REI Co-op brand, with product sales exceeding $1 million in less than 20 days. The company will expand the collection later in 2015.
REI is undergoing a digital makeover. Online now accounts for 25 percent of all sales. The retailer is also continuing its physical growth in 2015.
-See this REI press release
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