REI Co-op will open its first store in Alabama in Birmingham on October 4. Located at The Summit, REI’s new, will measure 20,000 square foot.

“We are thrilled to connect our Alabama members to the outdoors in a community as incredible as Birmingham,” says Lilah Williams, REI Birmingham store manager. “Whether it’s hiking, camping or mountain biking, we’ll offer the best gear for the activities our members already love, and expertise for those who want to try something new.”

In addition to outdoor gear, REI Birmingham will offer a range of programs to connect people to a life outdoors. A national leader in outdoor experiences and education, last year, the co-op helped more than 375,000 people across the country get outside and be inspired to lead an active lifestyle through a wide range of classes, tours and events.

To celebrate the new store, REI is investing a total of $20,000 in two local outdoor nonprofits: Cahaba River Society and Freshwater Land Trust. Funds will support trail maintenance and cleanup efforts in Birmingham and the surrounding area.

REI Birmingham is hosting a grand opening event with free public activities and giveaways October 4-6:

  • Shop early, get rewards: The first 250 people (age 18 and up) through the door on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will receive a limited-edition water bottle with a $10, $50 or $100 REI gift card inside. Doors open at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. on Sunday.
  • Afternoon social: Starting at 3 p.m. each day, REI Birmingham will host a party in the parking lot with free food, music and games. Vendors will also be onsite offering exclusive giveaways and demonstrations. Events end at 6 p.m. each day.
  • Local partnerships: REI is partnering with local Cahaba Brewing Company on a limited-edition brew, “Moonlit Lily Lager.” Together, REI and Cahaba Brewing Company are donating 10% of beer sales to further support the Cahaba River Society.

As a member-owned co-op, REI gave back more than 70 percent of its profits to the outdoor community last year through member dividends, employee retirement contributions and support for outdoor nonprofits. While anyone may shop at REI, members pay $20 for a lifetime membership and share in the company’s profits through an annual dividend. In 2018, REI invested $8.4 million in 431 nonprofits across the country. With more than 55,000 lifetime REI members in the state, REI Birmingham is the first of two stores to open in Alabama this year. REI Huntsville will be open for business on October 18 and host a grand opening celebration on November 15.

Store facts:

  • Address: 335 Summit Boulevard
  • Square footage: 20,000 square feet
  • Special features: Personal outfitting; community room for nonprofits
  • Number of employees: 43
  • REI Co-op membership: Over 53,000 lifetime members in Alabama
  • Other Alabama stores: Huntsville (opens October 18)

REI has 155 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia.