Outside Business Journal

REI Upgrades Co-op Membership Program, Aims for 50 Million Members by 2030

The lifetime membership now costs $30 instead of $20, but offers new benefits

Bella Wilkes

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REI announced today a retooled version of its lifetime co-op program—the first such change in 84 years—that will expand benefits available to members. The one-time fee for membership has increased from $20 to $30 dollars to support the update.

All the perks REI members have enjoyed over the years—including annual reward dollars, mailed coupons, and reduced gear-rental and experience prices—will remain. In addition, members will now get a host of new benefits: free shipping for online orders, a higher discount on shop services, access to member-exclusive gear, and more.

With the new program in place, REI hopes to expand the co-op to 50 million members—from its current 20 million—by 2030.

“REI’s membership relaunch comes after more than a year of planning and research,” said REI chief marketing officer Vivienne Long. “We heard from a diverse group of potential members who shared that the new program has broad appeal to be part of a broader community and creates the opportunity to make a meaningful impact. Our relaunch is the beginning of a new chapter for the co-op and represents the first step of many toward a member-experience overhaul that has community engagement at its core.” 

The changes to the program go into effect today. Existing members can start using the benefits immediately with no action needed.

Benefits of the New Program

REI released a series of details today about the new program’s benefits. All members who sign up now, as well as existing members, will enjoy the following.

REI Cooperative Action Fund donation: “With each new membership purchased, REI will donate $5 to the REI Cooperative Action Fund. The Fund supports organizations committed to building a new outdoor culture and improving the health and well-being for all people.”

Member Collection: “A broader, curated set of products just for members will launch each month, such as brand collaborations, limited editions, and special offers.”

Used gear just for members: “Used gear offerings, now called Re/Supply, are now just for members. Only members can shop for used gear online, in-store, or at REI’s Re/Supply stores in Manhattan Beach, California, and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Members can also trade in their gently used gear for gift cards and help extend the life of a product for use by fellow members. REI estimates that buying a used item avoids 50 percent of carbon emissions from new product manufacturing.”

Free shipping: “Members receive free U.S. standard shipping on all orders, with no minimum purchase required. Exceptions apply for international shipping and oversize items.”

Shop service discount: “REI’s trained technicians tune, repair, and improve the performance for all bikes and snow sports gear. Bike, ski, and snowboard shop services discounts are now doubled to 20 percent off for members. Bicycle flat tire repairs and ski/snowboarding machine wax service continue to be free.”

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