Press Releases

Smith Optics and REI Introduce “Rx In a Box”

This fall, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) and Smith Optics will join forces to bring Smith’s premium Rx sunglass services to REI customers.

This fall, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) and Smith Optics will join forces to bring Smith’s premium Rx sunglass services to REI customers. The new offering, dubbed Rx in a Box, will provide a convenient, in-store alternative for both near- and far-sighted customers shopping for corrective sunglasses designed for use in outdoor pursuits.

Rx in a Box provides REI members and customers with a simple two-step process in shopping for Smith Optics’ prescription products. First, customers purchase the custom-packaged Rx in a Box ($250 retail price). Inside they will find a unique one-time use ATM-like card containing a unique purchase code, along with details for submitting their prescription information. Second, the purchaser visits the secured Smith Optics Prescription Portal ( and enters information from the card to order their prescription shades, eliminating the need to visit an optometrist or other licensed optical dispenser.

“By rolling out this exciting program with REI, we are taking a great step towards simplifying the process of selecting and purchasing prescription sunglasses,” said Eric Carlson, Smith Optics vice president of product and design. “Rx in a Box allows customers to see it before they buy it, and easily customize their lens and frame selection online.”

The customer’s only challenge will be deciding which Smith Optics’ frame style to choose; the rest is a snap. When the customer gets home they need only log on to the Smith Optics’ website, enter their unique Rx in a Box PIN code, select the desired frame and lens, and enter their prescription details. Smith Optics handles the rest, using unsurpassed craftsmanship and exclusive Carl Zeiss Vision prescription lens technology to build the customized prescription sunglasses, drop-shipping the order directly to the customer’s door within seven to 10 business days.

For a surcharge at online checkout, premium eyewear upgrades are also available, including Smith Optics’ complete interchangeable Rx program, their popular Polarchromicâ„¢ and polarized lenses as well as mirrored lens coatings.

“At REI we’re continually working to enhance the shopping experience for our customers,” said Tad Summersett, REI product manager for active eyewear. “This exclusive program between REI and Smith Optics will help make the selection and purchase of customized sunglasses an easy and painless experience so our customers can focus their energy on their outdoor pursuits.”

Whether it’s a pair of interchangeable sunglasses for boating, hiking or cycling , a pair of stylish frames for summer BBQ’s and cruising the beach or simply a pair of fashion-forward prescription glasses which set one apart from the herd, this program promises to put the power of choice and convenience in the hands of the consumer.

*REI will introduce Rx in a Box to 25 stores initially, and then bring it to all REI stores by spring 2008. Rx in a Box can also be found online at

ABOUT SMITH: Based in Sun Valley, Idaho, with a Southern California office in San Clemente, Smith Optics, Inc. was founded in 1965 with the creation of the first goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam. Today, Smith is known for its diverse line of sunglasses, goggles and helmets. Smith’s devotion to excellence, innovation, performance and style has made Smith the choice of action-sport athletes worldwide. Smith products are sold in more than 50 countries through sporting goods and specialty stores. For more information, check out Performance. Style. Smith. Solid.

ABOUT REI: REI is a national 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. REI offers products from all of the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel, including its own line of award-winning outdoor gear and apparel. While anyone may join or shop at REI, members pay a one-time $15 fee and receive a share in the company’s profits through an annual member refund based on their 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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