Mar 15, 201210:39 AMBlog

Warm winter trims REI earnings

Mar 15, 2012 - 10:39 AM
With a number of new retail locations (including Olympia) being added to a national network surrounding its Sumner base, Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) grew annual sales by 8.4 percent in 2011. As the nation's largest consumer cooperative, the company added nearly 842,000 new members.

"However, because winter weather failed to arrive, our profitability was impacted," said Brian Unmacht, REI's executive vice president.

Sally Jewell, company president, noted on its website, "warm weather in the winter that impacted profitability in the critical holiday season." Operating income was $116.2 million, down slightly from $116.6 million in 2010. Net income was $30.2 million, relatively flat to 2010. Eight new REI stores were added last year from coast-to-coast, including opening for the first time in South Carolina. Build-out investments in the new locations also depressed income for the year.

Based on the co-op's 2011 performance, $99.8 million in patronage refunds will be distributed to 4.7 million active members this month. REI also invested $4.48 million in national and community-based nonprofit organizations focused on engaging volunteers in conserving local natural spaces.

The 2012 employee distribution includes $14.9 million in performance incentives and a $13.2 million contribution for retirement and profit sharing, equating to a 7 percent contribution of eligible employees' base salary.


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