REI.com expands its store pickup program

To spur more multi-channel sales, REI now is letting shoppers order a bicycle online and pick it up fully assembled at one of 70 store locations. The retailer also is using RSS to advertise daily online deals.

Bill Briggs

Recreational Equipment Inc. recently introduced several new e-commerce enhancements all tied to a common theme: increasing multi-channel sales.

REI.com shoppers, for instance, now can order a bicycle online and pick it up fully assembled at one of REI’s more than 70 store locations. Customers enjoy the new option because they can order from a wider selection of bikes at REI.com, save on shipping and receive a coupon for a free tune-up when the bike is picked up at a store, the company says. “Extending the buy online and pick up in store program to include bikes is resulting in more incremental sales of items such as helmets,” a company spokesman says.

REI, No. 66 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, also is joining the growing ranks of retailers using really simple syndication as a marketing tool. RSS is a data feed to which individuals can subscribe, most often for free, to receive routinely updated information from a web site. REI is using RSS to drive traffic to REI-Outlet.com, a discount sister site where shoppers can find daily deals on discontinued merchandise at up to 60% off the regular price. “RSS is a good way to get the word out on our deal of the day at REI-Outlet.com, the spokesman says.

REI is enhancing REI.com with new features as a way to drive total sales, which hit a record $1 billion in 2005, up from 2004 sales of $887 million, an increase of 15%. “We’re focused on integration,” the spokesman says. “The web is doing a good job of driving traffic to stores, which heavily promote our e-commerce channel.”

In 2005 REI posted web sales of $140 million, a 26% increase from 2004 when e-commerce sales totaled $111 million.


Commerce, Online shopping, REI, Web applications, World Wide Web