Forum Index > Gear Talk > why does rei suck so bad sometimes?
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MooseAndSquirrel
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MooseAndSquirrel
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PostThu May 20, 2004 9:28 pm 
tk-421 wrote:
So... what would be involved in starting a new co-op, reminiscient of what REI used to be?
Start with creosoted lumber, add one part old building with nothing plumb or square in it. Add a pinch of funky display cases and tables- nuthin' fancy. Sift in mostly basic, simple and functional gear with no lexan wine goblets, espresso makers or a myriad of yuppiescum "camp" toys. Simmer, noticing very little man-made fibers in clothing- cotton and wool still reign supreme. Marvel at ingenious technical gadgets like Swiss Army knives- usually the most feature-ladened model is purchased with annual dividend. This year they added scissors! Cool and serve.

Anne Elk
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Slugman
Itís a Slugfest!



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Slugman
Itís a Slugfest!
PostThu May 20, 2004 9:48 pm 
When people get old, they get cranky. They whine about how good it was "back then", forgetting all the bad things about the old days. You can read diatribes about how the world is going to hell, and then you find out it was written in 1925 or 45 AD. (True examples I've seen). In almost every case, the objective observer can conclude that the complainer is actually angry with the whole concept of change, that things "aren't the way they used to be". Learn to be at peace with change, that the "new generation" wants different things than your generation did.

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polarbear
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PostThu May 20, 2004 10:27 pm 
By that definition, the REI building itself was cranky. The neat thing was wondering if you might fall through the floor if you stepped too hard, or if the wooden steps might collapse--it was probably more dangerous going up those stairs than ascending any Himalayan peak-- or wondering where that ramp would take you down to, with all the pictures of mountain stuff hung above it. The atmosphere in most buildings now is purchased. I can create a theme restaurant and buy art to make it look like any era or make it suit any mood. The old REI's atmosphere wasn't created, but merely happened haphazardly, like one day you open the bag of bread and there is a little mold on it and the pattern changes daily. The buildings most suitable for a new co-op of this type are all in Georgetown.

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MooseAndSquirrel
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PostThu May 20, 2004 10:52 pm 
I hate to keep agreeing with PB, following him around the board like a cub, but he nailed some cool things about the old Capitol Hill store! Yes, the stairs, the ramp. Yes, the mountain pictures on the walls and weren't they faded like the fine old photos on the walls at the Doghouse? Come on, you folks DO remember the Doghouse don't you? Ribeye steak- tenderness not guaranteed. The Pooch. The Mutt. The waitresses! The lively bar scene embarassedlaugh.gif Sorry- going off on a tangent there, reign it in M&S. That's two old Seattle institutions, just memories now. bawl.gif

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marzsit
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PostFri May 21, 2004 12:21 am 
MooseAndSquirrel wrote:
tk-421 wrote:
So... what would be involved in starting a new co-op, reminiscient of what REI used to be?
Start with creosoted lumber, add one part old building with nothing plumb or square in it. Add a pinch of funky display cases and tables- nuthin' fancy. Sift in mostly basic, simple and functional gear with no lexan wine goblets, espresso makers or a myriad of yuppiescum "camp" toys. Simmer, noticing very little man-made fibers in clothing- cotton and wool still reign supreme. Marvel at ingenious technical gadgets like Swiss Army knives- usually the most feature-ladened model is purchased with annual dividend. This year they added scissors! Cool and serve.
you forgot the rows of cardboard barrels overflowing with reasonably-priced gear, the long downhill tunnel to the clothing department, the boot department on the 2nd floor, and the tents on the 3rd floor smile.gif and, most important, the sales staff that actually used the gear they're recommending to you......

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Lead Dog
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Lead Dog
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PostFri May 21, 2004 6:01 am 
REI store
You could also trade in old gear and get a little off new stuff. Also way upstairs they sold used stuff. I remember by first backpack. A red REI Crusier frame pack that cost $52.00

My hair's turning white, my neck's always been red, my collor's still blue. Lynard Skynard
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kleet
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kleet
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PostFri May 21, 2004 6:55 am 
Only one way to find out who misses the old REI Store the mostest: Who gots the lowest membership number?

A fuxk, why do I not give one?
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jimmymac
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jimmymac
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PostFri May 21, 2004 7:10 am 
OK. Let the bidding start. 981XX.

"Profound serenity is the product of unfaltering Trust and heightened vulnerability."
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JimK
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PostFri May 21, 2004 7:16 am 
I'm not going to be anywhere near the top in this group. Mine is 795xx, dating from 1977 or so.

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kleet
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kleet
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PostFri May 21, 2004 7:23 am 
jimmymac wrote:
OK. Let the bidding start. 981XX.
I'm out!!!

A fuxk, why do I not give one?
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Mikey
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PostFri May 21, 2004 7:55 am 
It is my impression that there was a change in REI policy which brought in the profit sharing bonus and this encouraged management to increase REI profits as this resulted in higher pay and increased bonus payments to the REI employees. Such a policy encouraged the reduction in inventory (i.e. all that climbing stutff that only climbers purchase), increase in the number of store locations, and greater stock of higher profit items (ie clothing). As I recall, the REI coop was originally started to get climbing equipment as it was difficult to obtain locally or via mail-order from Europe. The initiation of a new coop for climbers and hikers would be a great idea - but it my guess that most of us would rather hike and climb than mess with starting a coop. My REI number is in the 25,000 range (obtained in around 1961). It would be interesting to hear from some veteran REI employees (or board members) who for sure know this story very well.

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Allison
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Allison
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PostFri May 21, 2004 10:31 am 
No fair. I used my parents' membership number until I was 18 or 19, thus my number's in the millions.

www.allisonoutside.com follow me on Twitter! @AllisonLWoods
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jimmymac
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jimmymac
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PostFri May 21, 2004 10:56 am 
It's very unfair. I had a legitimately "old" membership that I let drift away. I had lost the card, so I just applied for my current membership one afternoon to make a purchase dividendable.

"Profound serenity is the product of unfaltering Trust and heightened vulnerability."
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reststep
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reststep
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PostFri May 21, 2004 12:47 pm 
Nobody remembers the old REI. One room upstairs down at 523 Pike Street. I think Jim Whitaker was the sole employee and before that I think a climber by the name of Dick McGowan worked there. There have been many changes since then. Incidentally my REI number is 4 digits starting with 5.

"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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MooseAndSquirrel
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MooseAndSquirrel
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PostFri May 21, 2004 3:21 pm 
Lead Dog wrote:
You could also trade in old gear and get a little off new stuff. Also way upstairs they sold used stuff. I remember by first backpack. A red REI Crusier frame pack that cost $52.00
Me too but sure as hell can't remember the price- sometime in the early-mid 70's. It was in the family for 20 years, kept being handed down.

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