Friday, June 27, 2008

REI: "No plans" to open in Columbia Heights

In regards to the rumors in the past and a comment on the last post, I contacted REI, the outdoors and camping gear store, about opening a store in Columbia Heights. Here's their response, which I got earlier today:
Greetings Andrew,

Thank you for contacting REI regarding a store in the Washington, DC Columbia Heights neighborhood.

At this time, we have no plans to open a store in the area. Customer feedback is our best tool for improvement and we do appreciate your input and efforts in bringing this matter to our attention.

As a co-op, we approach our store openings slower than most national retailers, only opening seven to ten stores per year. This allows us to be very thoughtful and deliberate in our real estate selections.

To stay informed of our latest news and openings, please refer to the link below:
Of course, people could still contact REI and try to advocate for a store.

The plot thickens. As commenter Rex North noted below, there's a thread on the Columbia Heights News forum with an email from last week saying that REI is "closer to being reality than previously thought," which makes things complicated. Stay tuned!


  1. Yah, well, they've said something to that effect ever since the rumors first started. Depends on who responds to your note to REI quite honestly. You could email again and someone would say "I've passed along your note or inquiry, thanks." I've been sent different responses when I've emailed in the past. I'd imagine the folks that respond to inquiries sent through the website aren't necessarily in the know (though its pretty awesome they don't just respond with auto-form letter).

    It was thought to be more or less dead until a posting on the Columbia Heights from 6/11/08 forum stated: "I just got copied on an email from Ryan Youngman - he says they are still working on details and hope to have good news within the month. He also mentioned that from what he has heard, REI is "closer to being reality than previously thought"."

    My take is that aren't opening a new store, but could be moving the mediocre College Park store. Just a hunch though, I've got nothing to back that up.

    FYI: you can find that posting here -

  2. Hm, that complicates matters.


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