REI Plans Third DC for 2016

Outdoor retailer REI plans to open a third distribution center, located in Goodyear, Ariz., to better support its stores and customers through faster product replenishment and delivery.

"We are privileged to join the community of Goodyear as we expand our distribution capacity and services to the southwest market," said Rick Bingle, REI's vice president of supply chain. "The Goodyear distribution center will enable us to continue to focus on the needs of customers by moving our gear and apparel more quickly and efficiently, now and into the future."

REI returned a record $168 million to its members through its annual dividend earlier this year. The co-op welcomed 945,000 new members and opened seven new store openings in 2014, bringing the current total to 140 stores in 33 states. The new distribution center will serve approximately 40 of those stores. Retail and customers will benefit from shorter cycle times required to replenish product, ensuring more options on store shelves and shorter deliveries. Once the Goodyear facility is up and running, the company will reach 20 percent more customers with two-day ground service.

The 400,000-square-foot facility resides on 34 acres in the Phoenix suburb. REI expects the distribution center to be operational in July 2016 and feature a staff of approximately 120 employees.

"Staying true to the co-op's values, the facility is being designed and constructed with sustainability and community at the forefront," said Bingle. "REI is making choices to limit demands on natural resources whenever possible."

The building will be designed using the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, aiming to achieve a minimum of LEED Gold® certification. The goal is to reduce energy consumption in the building, reduce energy costs and provide a comfortable working environment for employees. In addition, the company is pursuing ways to minimize water use inside and outside the building, particularly for cooling and landscaping needs.

With several recreation areas nearby, Goodyear, and the surrounding community, is a strong fit for REI's culture and brand. The co-op invested more than $45,000 in its local nonprofit relationships to enhance and take care of local outdoor places in Arizona, including the Arizona National Scenic Trail and McDowell Sonoran Preserve. With the new distribution center, REI will expand upon its commitment to outdoor spaces in Goodyear through additional grants and employee volunteer projects.

The Goodyear facility will complement REI's existing distribution centers in Sumner, Wash., and Bedford, Pa. REI selected Goodyear as the site for its new distribution center after looking at several other locations in the southwest region.
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