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Press Releases

REI Opens in Northbrook with Three-Day Celebration

Recreational Equipment, Inc (REI) invites cooperative members and the community to celebrate the opening of its Northbrook store during its grand opening weekend Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6.

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The Northbrook store is located at Willow Festival Shopping Center at the intersection of Willow Road and Waukegan Road, near Interstate 94. In June 2006, the cooperative announced plans to relocate its Niles store to Northbrook. Approximately 4,000 square-feet larger than the previous location, the 26,000 square-feet store provides outdoor gear and clothing for camping, climbing, cycling, paddling, hiking, travel and snow sports, as well as all of the top outdoor brands including REI’s own line of award-winning REI gear and apparel. The additional space allows for increased seasonal product assortments such as skis, snowboards and boats.

A number of events and giveaways are scheduled, including:

“Webbing” Cutting – Held on Friday, May 4 at 10 a.m. prior to the store opening by Northbrook Village Board President Gene Marks; REI Northbrook Store Manager, Kale Klontz; REI Senior Vice President of Sales, Store Development and Logistics, Brian Unmacht; and REI Midwest Retail Director, Michelle Yancy.

Commemorative Water Bottles with REI Gift Cards – The first 200 people (ages 12 and older) who enter the store each day will receive a special-edition water bottle with an REI gift card from ranging in value from $5 to $100.

Sweepstakes – Members and customers may enter for a chance to win a cycling package that includes a Novara Fusion bike, Novara Big Buzz hydration pack and Novara messenger bag.

Complimentary Breakfast – Free continental breakfast provided each morning between 10 a.m. and noon. Native® Eyewear, GORE-TEX/Windstopper® and Ex Officio are the hosts of the grand opening breakfasts.

Book Signing – Ted Villaire author of “60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Chicago” will be in-store on May 5 from noon until 3 p.m. to promote and sign his book, and talk about local cycling opportunities. The store will also host Mr. Villaire for a hiking presentation on May 24 from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

Free Bike Valet – The first 150 riders who use the valet Friday through Sunday will receive a free Novara bike water bottle.

Learn about Area Nonprofits – Informational brochures and newsletters from Rolling on the River Ride, Blackstone Bicycle Works, Cook County Forest Preserve, Upper Des Plaines River Ecosystem Partnership.

A number of in-store classes and REI-supported events are scheduled after grand opening weekend. To learn more, visit the store’s home page at

REI is an outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI operates retail stores nationwide, two online stores – and – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. While anyone may shop at REI, cooperative members pay a one-time $15 fee and receive a share in the company’s profits though an annual member refund based on eligible purchases. As an active supporter of the communities in which it does business, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

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Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with an REI spokesperson, please contact Megan Behrbaum at 253-437-7736 (phone), 206-540-5738 (pager), or