World News

REI Co-op giving members 10% back despite not making a profit in 2020

REI Co-op members are getting a nice surprise in their email inboxes this week.

Normally this is the time of year when members find out how much of a dividend they will receive from what they spent at REI the previous year. According to REI, there are no profits for the co-op to share this year because of the pandemic, but members are learning they will receive a 10% credit derived from their full-price purchases in 2020. That’s the amount they typically could expect to receive from annual member dividends.

Brigette Pence, REI’s senior manager of loyalty and strategy, said the co-op performed better than anticipated last year because members continued shopping online while stores were closed due to the pandemic.

“We were one of the first retailers that proactively closed our doors when the pandemic started to take hold,” Pence said. “We thought that was going to be a couple of weeks. That ended up stretching almost a couple of months. During that time, our members really showed up. They were like, ‘How can we help the co-op during this really hard time?’ They really did.”

Despite not showing a profit, the co-op ended 2020 in a strong financial position with a healthy cash balance and no debt, Pence said.

“Because we are a co-op, our member dividend is really tied to our co-op structure and our ability to share our profits,” Pence said. “Because we didn’t make a profit in 2020, we weren’t able to issue a regular member dividend due to tax implications. We ended 2020 in a better position than we originally projected, so we’re issuing a ‘member reward’ in lieu of our standard member dividend.”

Notices went out to members this week and the funds are already available in their accounts.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.

Source: Read Full Article