REI Co-op said it will furlough most retail and field employees for 90 days beginning April 15 as the company’s stores remain closed due to the coronavirus.
CEO Eric Artz made the announcement in an email sent to the “co-op community.” Click here to read the full letter.
Other measures include Artz forfeiting 100 percent of his base salary for the next six months and his incentive eligibility for 2020. REI’s board of directors will forfeit their fees for the next six months as well. And REI’s entire senior leadership team will take a 20 percent pay reduction for the next six months and forfeit all incentive eligibility for 2020.
“We have made the decision to begin an unpaid 90-day furlough of the majority of our retail and field employees, beginning on April 15,” Artz wrote in the email. “During this period, all health and welfare benefits will continue as normal for all eligible furloughed employees. In addition, REI will also pay the employee portion of benefit premiums, which means we’ll be covering 100 percent of eligible employee health and welfare premium costs for all furloughed employees for all 90 days for those employees. All furloughed employees will be eligible to apply for government-funded unemployment pay.”
Artz continued: “Our hope is to begin a gradual reopening of our stores in the coming months. We plan to begin with curbside pickup hopefully in the next 45 days. And we look forward to welcoming you all back into our stores when it’s safe to do so. As we did with our decision to temporarily close our stores, we’re going to prioritize the safety of our employees and customers and closely track federal and local guidance.”
Photo courtesy REI