REI opens its fifth flagship store last weekend in Washington, D.C., and as part of the festivities, REI has been running 100 days of outdoor events going back to this summer in D.C. under the banner “United Outside” to bring people across the political spectrum together. The effort culminated over the weekend with a block party to celebrate the opening of the 51,000 square-foot store in the NOMA neighborhood, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
“Opening this incredible store in Washington, D.C. in a contentious election year has been fun, if a little challenging given all the noise around the election. It’s important to get past all that, though, and we’ve been working to show that the outdoors brings people together,” said Jerry Stritzke, CEO and president of REI. “Thousands of residents have connected this summer through our 100 ‘United Outside’ events. We’ve designed this flagship to be a beautiful convening space where the outdoor community can plan adventures over a great cup of coffee and gear-up.”
The distinct features of the REI DC Flagship include:
A 1,052-square-foot La Colombe café for customers to enjoy a specialty coffee beverage while planning their next outing.
An Adventure Station offered in partnership with the National Park Service and REI outdoor experts, will connect our members with advice on where to go and how to best enjoy the outdoors.
An outdoor courtyard at the store’s core for adventurers to gather, featuring a fireplace and views of the building’s historic structural concrete arches.
Bike, ski and snowboard shop services that will cater to the District’s cycling and snow sports assembly and repair needs.
A community space with a robust schedule of free and low-cost, in-store classes for cycling, paddling, fitness, hiking and camping, climbing, snow sports, photography and wilderness medicine.
A collection of gear shops that will blend into a commons area that creates a communal shopping experience.
“Our employees have been connecting with the outdoor community within the District and beyond since we first announced that we were opening a store nearly two years ago. Our members have been patiently waiting and we’re excited to open our doors. The flagship’s design represents a whole new approach to how REI thinks about the customer experience, presenting the co-op, our services and experience at their best,” said Rebecca Smith, general manager of REI’s DC Flagship.
The flagship will join eight other REI stores serving nearly 300,000 REI members living in and around the Washington, D.C. area. It is the retailer’s fifth flagship, joining locations in Seattle, Denver, Bloomington, Minn. and the SoHo area of New York City.