REI, a specialised outdoor shop based in Seattle, is investing in its technological infrastructure in the new year to support the enormous number of programmes it delivers to its expanding number of co-op members. The corporation announced the hiring of two new vice presidents to its technology leadership team. Analyn Nouri was hired as vice president of platform engineering, and Todd Wilson, a 15-year employee, was elevated to vice president of product engineering. The co-op, which is in a unique situation, has over 20 million members and offers a variety of perks to its lifetime members, many of which require a strong technology infrastructure. REI senior vice president and chief technology officer Dan Shull said, “Technology plays a critical role in REI’s growth strategy, which involves serving 50 million members by 2030 through its shops, online platforms, experiences, and more.”
Nouri will lead REI’s journey toward cloud-based platforms that support present and future offers, guarantee the co-op has scalable infrastructure and data protection, and drive excellence in engineering tools and practise, according to the press release. “Technology is an incredible instrument for increasing outdoor awareness and providing access to people who may never have imagined that an active lifestyle is possible,” adds Nouri.
While REI is best recognised for its outdoor clothing and equipment, it also offers members access to outdoor excursions, expert classes, and professional instructors. REI’s active adventure travel company offers over 100 itineraries across the country, and its global network of experienced trainers offers beginner-to-advanced-level seminars and workshops focused on a variety of activities. A number of technology infrastructures and systems are used to enable all of these services.
On Black Friday, REI was the first store to close its doors. REI paid its more than 15,000 employees to #OptOutside on Black Friday for the seventh year in a row, which means the firm is urging staff and shoppers alike to disconnect from the insanity of Black Friday and instead spend the day appreciating nature. “As the previous year and a half has continued to test us all, #OptOutside serves as a reminder of the value of community and time spent outside,” stated REI CEO Eric Artz.
Cameron Janes, REI Co-first op’s chief commercial officer, was hired earlier this month to unite the co-retail op’s and e-commerce channels in order to help REI push the boundaries of how physical and digital retail connect and create a seamless omnichannel experience for its consumers and members.