REI Co-op is preparing for a safe return to customer-facing services. Starting this week, REI will begin offering curbside pick-up at more than half of it stores across the country and will launch zero-contact bike shop services in select locations. The co-op will also begin opening its stores to customers, beginning with three stores in Montana.
The co-op will use four factors to determine where it can reopen customer-facing services:
- The co-op’s ability to ensure a set of detailed health and safety protocols
- Local community readiness and sentiment
- Federal, state, and local guidelines and restrictions
- Facility and team operational readiness
As the co-op prepares to reopen, it is also implementing a number of health and safety guidelines, including but not limited to operating on a reduced schedule, limiting the number of people allowed in stores, requiring employees to wear face coverings, and asking customers to do the same. Disposable coverings will be available to shoppers who don’t have them.
In addition, social distance queuing will be used at store entrances, cash registers and shop counters . All registers will be equipped with plexiglass shields, and stores will maintain enhanced cleaning procedures with frequent, thorough cleanings of high-touch surface areas.
Beyond the ramp-up of physical retail, the co-op has been actively developing additional ways to serve members, including virtual events and gatherings, a pilot program for virtual outfitting, and an updated returns process. Those services will begin rolling out in select stores during the coming weeks.