REI to lay off 167 employees at headquarters in Kent

Feb 1, 2023, 5:05 PM
REI's flagship store located in Seattle, Wash. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

REI has announced layoffs at its headquarters in Kent.

“In the face of increasing uncertainty, we need to sharpen our focus on the most critical investments and areas of work to best serve our members and grow the co-op over the long term,” the company wrote in a press release.

The total number of people being dismissed is 167 — 8% of the corporate workforce.

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In a memo to company employees, CEO Eric Artz said:

This week we made organizational changes at our headquarters to focus resources on areas of highest impact. These changes include: Strategically reorganizing and combining several headquarters divisions so that teams are organized around a focused set of priorities. Reducing the size of our overall headquarters team to align the co-op’s resources and people to the areas of highest impact. This change impacts 167 leaders and employees, approximately 8% of our HQ workforce and less than 1% of our total workforce. All impacted people have been notified via a conversation with a leader.

REI is the nation’s largest co-op, a specialty outdoor retailer. The company recently sold its Bellevue office to Facebook for $360 million.

“To ensure that future impact, it is vital that we get the co-op back to profitability as quickly as possible,” Artz said.

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Although there have been many sets of layoffs at Seattle-area companies of late, REI is the first to cut its corporate workforce, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

“In the moments when we fall short of our goals, I own the very tough decisions about how we move forward,” Artz said. “Next week, I will go more in-depth on our 2023 plan and goals for the year.”

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REI to lay off 167 employees at headquarters in Kent