REI Case Study – Research
REI Case Study – Research Guide
This research guide can be used as a starting point for investigating REI’s marketing practices.
Explore the Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) Web site for an overview of the company philosophy, products, and services. Check out the content of the About REI section of the Web site. Note: The following company background information was formerly presented on the Web site.
REI’s thriving spirit was born in the 1930s when Pacific Northwest mountaineer Lloyd Anderson began his search for an ice axe. Lloyd wanted a reliable tool at a reasonable price but had no success in finding one locally. He eventually found a high-quality model in an Austrian alpine gear catalog for a mere $3.50, shipping included. Word about his find quickly spread among Seattle’s climbing community, which led Lloyd and his wife, Mary, to convene with 21 fellow climbers to establish an outdoor gear co-op in 1938 (REI, 2007).
You might find it interesting to compare this historical outline with the content currently featured on the About REI page.
In this course, you will also be required to use secondary research resources. Explore and review the marketing research resources of the organizations below:
National Sporting Goods Association.
Sports and Fitness Industry Association.
Use the Internet Archive tool, the WayBack Machine, to search for REI.com and you will find historical versions of REI Web site pages. Select a few pages and compare REI’s former prices and product offerings with the current online catalog.
Secondary research resources can also be found through organizations affiliated with REI. Entre Prises USA, Inc., the organization that built the first climbing wall in the REI flagship store, provided the following secondary research information about REI:
“REI opened the doors to its flagship store in Seattle, in 1996.
This large retail store is located adjacent to Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle.
Up to 250,000 people drive by the store every day. It was important to REI to capture their attention.
REI looked to Entre Prises to build a 65 ft. freestanding structure that would be the central focus of the store.
After ten months of construction, 4 miles of rebar, and 120 tons of concrete, the ICON for REI was sculpted. REI has received unparalleled media response from the climbing wall. People wait hours to climb the Entre Prises Pinnacle and in the first year over 10,000 people climbed it, and the interest continues to grow!” (Entre Prises USA, Inc., 2007).
Entre Prises USA, Inc. (n.d.). REI flagship store: Entre prises creates a masterpiece! Retrieved from http://www.epusa.com/featured_project.php?otype=i&id=13
Entre Prises USA, Inc. (2013). Entre Prises: Climbing walls. Retrieved from http://www.epusa.com
Internet Archive. (2013). Wayback machine. Retrieved from http://archive.org/web/web.php
National Sporting Goods Association. (2013). NSGA. Retrieved from http://www.nsga.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1
REI, Inc. (2007). The REI story. Retrieved from http://www.rei.com/jobs/story.jsp
REI. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.rei.com
Sports and Fitness Industry Association. (2013). SFIA. Retrieved from http://www.sfia.org
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