Customer Service Rep/Shipping and Receiving (Current Employee) – Kennewick, WA – August 7, 2014
REI started out with great integrity but as the years have flown by it is obvious that this has slipped considerably. I think they have forgotten their core values when it comes to their employees. Politics in the work place are plentiful, favoritism is the norm. Their management training is greatly lacking in the teaching of people skills and how to put people before the situation. The profit margins and numbers are where their focus has turned and it is so sad to see. They throw people in positions that have not been screened well. This results in high costs to the company as employees are quitting right and left because they can't work with someone who has no business being in management. Their pay raises are typical for retail, a .25 cent raise is average each year. They do have insurance for employees working 20 hours or more which is nice but your hours fluctuate so drastically that its not worth signing up for. You have to maintain the 20 or more hours each quarter to keep it. But there is no guarantee from one week to the next that you will be able to keep it. Coworkers can be real enjoyable as long as you don't have spies mixed in. This has been known to happen. HR is slow to act on reports of gross misconduct of management. Over all if I was to be able to change jobs (which I am trying to do) I would work for any other company than REI.
Seasonal Position, was temporary during the holiday season
Call Center Sales Associate (Former Employee) – Kent, WA – August 6, 2014
Great company to work for yet wasn't looking to go Full-Time there. Great employee discounts too.
Answered calls coming in from all the US from customers wanting to place catalogue orders by phone. The system was very user friendly in walking us through the process to place their order. Also used sales skills to offer other products to go with their current purchase.
Worked 20-35 hours a week.
Left on good terms being that the position was seasonal & I did not request to be considered for full-time.
earned extra income, fun atmosphere, sales contests, great employee discount
great employee discount, would spend my paycheck on great buys, 4:00am start time, had one very loud csr that most of us couldn't hear our customers when she was there
Great place to work, with fun coworkers and customers
Customer Service Specialist (Former Employee) – Reading, MA – July 29, 2014
I worked as a Customer Service Specialist and I liked it more than I thought I would. They are not scared to give you real responsibility. The managers and coworkers were great and the customers were generally pleasant. Pay is good too.
Sales Associate (Current Employee) – San Antonio, TX – July 18, 2014
Responsibilities: • Assisted customers with equipment related questions • Taught classes, subjects included lightweight backpacking and summer hiking • Volunteered with outreach coordinators at public parks • Operated cash registers, helped customers with returns and checkouts • Facilitated bike maintenance by doing an basic assessment of work needed • Helped maintain an accurate inventory
Accomplishments: • Nominated for the Anderson Award • Employed during the duration of my graduate studies • My work provided customers with much needed knowledge
Director of Creative Strategy (Former Employee) – Kent, WA – June 27, 2014
I won't speak to working in the stores. I'm sure that's dependent on the particular store manager, but I doubt it's a good job. Considering what the corporate employees make and the cost-cutting measures going on there, kiddies, seriously, don't look to REI as a place where you will rise up from the store floor. It just ain't gonna happen.
I don't know if this company ever promoted on merits, but it suffered from an old boys network of the original co-op founders for a long time. At least in that context, work/life balance and getting outside to actually use the gear was a consideration. Now, its just lip service. This company doesnt sell stock because it's a co-op. Well, their burn rate of wasted money is pretty severe, so it's a miracle that what's coming in can even begin to cover it. However, do they look to the inefficiency of bad managers? No, of course, they look to chopping off employees who have any time and vacation accrued.
Corporate REI suffers from a rotting internal culture where the directors aren't interested in creativity, but just beating their corporate employees until good ideas come out, and then they cherry-pick those ideas, repackage them as their own, as well as ones they get from external creative houses, which they overspend on to an insane degree. They overspend on lavish parties and travel with these big-name design and architectural firms while they bleed their own employees dry. Serious ageism is going on, even though many of the corporate managers are not spring chickens, but Gen-Xers. The seriously old people are long gone. You won't make retirementmore... at this company, no matter how much they sell you on it. Forget that.
Is this the typical corporate story? Fine. Just don't think REI is any different than Cabela's or Nordstrom's. You don't want a job in retail, period. Get a skill that puts you in the driver's seat, because you won't get trained in anything at REI that doesn't put you into another horrific retail environment where margins are thin. They will work you to the bone doing the most inane tasks.less
Inspire; Educate; Outfit; Lifetime of outdoor adventure.
Operations (Former Employee) – Tigard, OR – June 12, 2014
A retirement plan that doesn't require individual contributions. Health-care benefits, including part-time employees who work 20 or more hours. Gear discounts and free gear rentals. Encouragement of work/life balance. Outdoor-focused culture that encourages outdoor activity as an extension of our business. Camaraderie, open communication and opportunity for advancement. Gear grants to take on personal outdoor challenges. Community involvement and support for outdoor-focused clubs and non-profit organizations. Incentive pay program.
A great place for Bed-Wetting Liberals to work...part-time.
Sales / Bicycles (Former Employee) – Kennesaw, GA – June 3, 2014
First, the training there is weak. Secondly, they ask for you not to talk POLITICS at work. Third, Spring is a hiring season for REI....Summer creates lay-off's.
I worked at the Kennesaw store. I kept my mouth shut when my Manager and General Manager stated talked about how great Obama was, and the Free Health Care we where going to get. I said nothing. Because of this.....I was FIRED after 4 weeks!!!
You love it if you are a liberal, lazy, environmentalist who wants to work part-time
This company has some of the best customers in all of retail. All of the customers are happy to be there and often are looking to start a new adventure. They want advice without a big sales pitch and that is what they get. The staff at an REI store are probably some of the most over-qualified people that you could ever meet. The person helping you fit a new backpack could be the former Pacific Rim Manager of a national company, or they could be working on their Phd. at a local university. All are highly trained and service minded.
great deals on gear. they make it easy to take care of the customer.
LEAD SALES REPRESENTATIVE (Current Employee) – Rancho Cucamonga, CA – April 10, 2014
Great co-workers, employee discounts, relatively flexible work schedule, fantastic health/vision/dental benefits for 20 plus hours/week employees, generally the best customers in retail too. Generally good work/life balance, even managers aren't supposed to work more than 40 hours per week.
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) – San Carlos, CA – April 7, 2014
Always a fun place to work and the customers are happy to see you. As long as you like people and working in a service type of environment you can't go wrong working at REI. The pay and compensation packet are one of the better ones around and they are always looking for fun outgoing people.
Customer Service / Cashiering (Former Employee) – Lynnwood, WA – April 4, 2014
I would get to work at least half an hour early, and chill in the breakroom till it was time to clock in, then i would don my apron, head down to the front line, and begin my cashiering duties, helping people and meeting strangers. Whenever i had downtime, i would restock bags, the candies up front, and items in the immediate area of the checkout zone. My coworkers were great, very helpful whenever i had questions, and were great company. The hardest part was handling checks, it only happened a couple of times though.
The best place to work for the outdoor enthusiast!
Customer Service (Current Employee) – Lakewood, CO – February 3, 2014
REI has been a gift of jobs. It's an absolute toy store for adults who like to hike, camp, paddle, climb, ski, and more!. One thing I appreciate greatly is the effort the management staff put into their jobs. It is one of the more efficiently running businesses I have had a pleasure to be apart of. The general staff are all very well educated and experienced in their own professionals and like to work at REI for the customer experience. This has been one of the most rewarding jobs in my past because of the many opportunities available to engage in someone else's personal life in the outdoors and share knowledge of the backcountry.
great company benefits and outstanding staff
never enough hours to be considered financially stable
Sale Specialist (Former Employee) – Perimeter Store, Atlanta, Ga. – January 25, 2014
I worked for REI for 5 months. My training was minimal compared to what I truly needed to know about the store's operation. My schedule was erratic, ranging from 25 hrs/wk to as low as 4 hrs/wk. Most weeks involved about 10-14 hrs, which was insufficient to learn and keep up with the store's ever-changing environment. Due to the inconsistent scheduling I was unable to acquire another needed part-time job to balance things out. Finally, as I was looking at the schedule on the store's bulletin board, the manager casually walked by and said "You won't be on next week's schedule". I was shocked, dumb-founded. Why? "That's it", she said, and walked away. No explanation. I was a hardworking, punctual, professional team player that always gave 100+%. REI was the ONLY place I had wanted to build a new career. My co-workers were shocked at my treatment. Stone cold, inefficient management.
quality ideals set forth in the corporate mission.
Cashier, sales, inventory, banker (Former Employee) – Northbrook, IL – January 18, 2014
REI is a retail establishment that sells equipment to help people get active in the outdoors. A typical day was helping members and potential members of the REI co-op find the right equipment for their outdoor adventures. While employed there, I did everything from cashiering to sales, inventory to banking. I learned so much about merchandising and working there even helped me to get more active. All the managers I had there were great. They truly lead by example. Most of my co-workers were also hard-working and helpful. The hardest part of the job was accepting REI's return policy, which many people abused. The most enjoyable part of the job was helping people get out in nature. By far, REI has been the best employer I've ever had. The liberal employee discount and other perks were great! There are many reasons why REI has consistently been voted one of America's 100 best places to work!