REI employs more than 12,000 people across its stores nationwide. In an email sent to employees last Thursday, the Seattle-founded company revealed that 275 lead roles had been cut.
There are nine REI stores throughout Oregon. A company spokesperson told KOIN 6 that not all Oregon locations had to say goodbye to employees, but 13 staff members statewide were affected by the recent restructuring.
According to the email from Vice President of Stores Mary-Farrell Tarbox, the company’s current operating model is over a decade old. The goal of the restructuring is to bring the business up to date.
“While there are some things that we have done and continue to do extremely well, there are many areas that are out of date and no longer serving our employees or REI’s mission and business,” Tarbox wrote.
The outdoor retailer said it’ll reinvest the cut hours into other pre-existing roles, as well as new roles. The company reported that it will have opened 1,300 new jobs across its stores throughout the final quarter of the year.
“This is not something we take lightly — these actions are necessary to set us up for long-term success,” Tarbox said.
In April of this year, REI announced that the location in Portland’s Pearl District would close in early 2024. The business cited break-ins and thefts as its reason for leaving the Rose City.
However, the outdoor retailer opened its first Oregon REI Re/Supply store in the Clackamas Town Center over the summer. The store sells lightly-used apparel and gear.
Additionally, the company plans to open a 39,000-square-foot REI location in Beaverton in spring 2024.