REI Co-op is adding its second location in South Carolina in spring 2020 with a store in Columbia’s BullStreet District. The new 20,000-square-foot space will join the co-op’s existing location in Greenville, which opened in 2011.
“We are thrilled to add Columbia, South Carolina to our growing list of new locations in the South. This vibrant community is known for its incredible access to cycle and paddle opportunities,” says Gail Kirkland, REI retail director for the South. “We look forward to joining the community and further connecting our local members to the outdoor places they love.”
REI Columbia will be located near the northwest corner of the district, at the intersection of Bull Street and Freed Street, one block from Colonial Drive. During the construction of REI’s store, Freed Street will be reconfigured to better connect Bull Street to the entry plaza of Segra Park. The BullStreet District’s plans also call for daylighting Smith Branch Creek and constructing a 20-acre public park, both of which will compliment REI’s new store. The store will be designed by Wakefield Beasley Architects in Atlanta and built by McCrory Construction of Columbia.
“We welcome REI Co-op to Columbia as the first of many retailers in the BullStreet District that will add to our city’s growing vitality in so many ways,” says Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “REI’s history as a good corporate partner is impressive, and we look forward to working with them.”
In addition to offering outdoor gear, REI Columbia will also offer workshops to connect people to a life outdoors. REI helped more than 350,000 people across the country get outside through classes and events last year.
As a co-op, protecting wild spaces and investing in spaces for outdoor recreation is a key part of REI’s mission. The co-op annually gives back nearly 70 percent of its profits to the outdoor community. In South Carolina, REI invested a total of $12,000 in the Anne Springs Close Greenway and the Foothills Trail Conference. As REI gets closer to opening in Columbia, the co-op plans to invest further in the local outdoor community in the Midlands and surrounding regions.
“REI Co-op is on the cutting edge of lifestyle retailing that promotes the love of the outdoors, which our region embraces. The company is known for providing top quality goods and services for the outdoors, and for putting an emphasis on giving back to the community in many ways,” says Robert Hughes, Hughes Development Corporation president and master developer of the BullStreet District. “REI is exactly the kind of retailer that our 20-year development plan envisions with a dynamic mix of residential, retail, restaurant and recreational uses.”
In 2020, REI expects to hire nearly 45 employees at the new store in Columbia.
REI has 154 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia.