As a leader in retail, Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) maintains a small store feel with an experienced staff that provides excellent customer service. Founded in 1938 as an outdoor equipment shop, REI has grown to over 10,000 employees with revenues of $38 billion. Originally an equipment shops for experienced climbers, REI now markets to less experienced customers in the family camping segment. Despite its continued innovation and growth, REI is consistently ranked as a top company to work for.
Analysis To provide excellent customer service, REI hires and trains employees to be experienced with whatever they sell. To create the best employees, REI believes that experienced employees are best qualified to recommend products to customers, and they create the best employees by hiring the most loyal customers. To maintain a positive culture, employees receive excellent benefits, are encouraged to share their thoughts, and participate in debates, and REI chooses to close their stores on Black Friday.
Case Questions 1. Why does REI need employees who are experienced with their equipment just to sell products?
1. Why doesn’t REI take part in Black Friday even though it is many stores’ most successful day?