REI Sells HQ to Facebook; Opens Store with New Retail Format

Lisa Johnston
Managing Editor
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A rendering of the HQ campus

Just a month after announcing it would sell its new headquarters and lean into remote working, REI has completed the sale of the 400,000-square-foot campus to Facebook.

Sold for $390 million, the campus and accompanying 6 acres of land in the Bellevue, WA Spring District neighborhood were picked up by the social media giant, while site developer Wright Runstad & Company and Shorenstein Properties purchased an undeveloped 2-acre portion. 

REI is shifting toward a distributed workforce instead of operating from a single location, and the co-op’s future HQ will instead span multiple satellite locations across the region. The company said it received a positive return on its investment.

REI also recently opened a new store in Pigeon Forge, TN featuring its new retail format with product rentals, zero-contact bike shop services and buy-online-pickup-in-store capabilities. Opened Sept. 4 on a reduced schedule, the 21,500-square-foot store was originally scheduled to open in the spring but was delayed due to COVID-19.

“With proximity to the most visited national park in the country, Pigeon Forge is an exciting and unique location that will allow us to connect our members to the outdoors,” said Matt Wheat, REI Pigeon Forge store manager. “Whether you’re someone with years of experience who needs a piece of technical equipment, or a first-time camper looking to rent gear, our goal is to help every adventurer in the Great Smokies get outside.”

Rather than holding an in-person grand opening event, REI encouraged consumers to take virtual store tours on its website and participate in virtual classes.

REI now operates 167 locations in 39 states and Washington DC.