REI Co-op to open new store in Appleton, Wisconsin on September 4, invest $10,000 in local community

REI Co-op will open its new store in Appleton, Wisconsin on September 4 for limited in-store shopping, offering a wide assortment of quality outdoor gear for hiking, camping, mountain biking and paddling. The new 20,000-square-foot store at the Center Valley shopping center was originally scheduled to open in the spring but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. REI Appleton will also offer Buy Online, Pickup In Store capabilities and zero contact bike shop services. With nearly 300,000 lifetime members in state, REI Appleton will join the co-op’s existing Wisconsin locations in Brookfield and Madison.

“Appleton is an incredible community, and we’re thrilled to finally open our doors and connect our members to the many outdoor spaces in the region,” said Gary Kim, REI Appleton store manager. “Whether our members are enjoying their favorite activity or want to try something new for the first time, we’ll have the gear they need to get outside.”

In lieu of in-person grand opening events or giveaways, the community is invited to celebrate the store virtually. Customers can visit the Appleton store page for updates. In addition, REI plans to invest $10,000 in local outdoor nonprofits, with grant recipients to be announced at a later date. REI has been part of the Wisconsin outdoor community for over 25 years, first opening its Madison store in 1994. In 2019, REI invested more than $36,000 in local outdoor nonprofits in Wisconsin. Each year, REI invests millions in nonprofits across the country that steward and maintain local trails, parks and public lands and connect people to the outdoors.

REI Appleton will be open for in-store shopping with several health and safety protocols in place designed to maintain physical distance between customers and employees. This includes, but is not limited to:
Operating on a reduced schedule and limiting the number of people in store. REI Appleton will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Customers may be asked to wait in line outside of the store to ensure proper distancing.
Requiring employees and customers over the age of two to wear face coverings. Disposable face coverings will be available for those who don’t have them.
Socially distanced queuing at store entrances, footwear, cash registers and shop counters.
Plexiglass shields at all registers.
Enhanced cleaning procedures with thorough, frequent cleanings of high-touch surface areas.
To help minimize wait times, customers are encouraged to plan ahead for the products they need. In addition to connecting with experts in store, REI’s Expert Advice series offers numerous resources for customers and members to learn new skills, choose the right gear and prepare for outdoor adventures. In addition, customers may schedule virtual outfitting appointments online to receive personalized, one-on-one service for things like hiking boot and running shoe fittings, cycling outfitting, and camping and backpacking outfitting from home. REI also offers virtual events to connect people to the outdoors.

Editor’s note: For images of REI in-store shopping and safety protocols, click here. To download b-roll footage, click here.

Appleton store facts:
Location: Center Valley shopping center, 3850 West Wisconsin Avenue
Store hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Size: 20,000 square feet
Special features and services: Bike shop with zero contact shop services; Buy Online, Pick Up In Store; virtual events and outfitting
Number of employees: 43
REI membership: Nearly 300,000 co-op members in Wisconsin
Other Wisconsin REI stores: Madison (opened 1994), Brookfield (opened 1998)

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