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Thread: Why I love REI

  1. #16
    Senior Member Stash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by averagejoe View Post
    KRobi;
    REI is really conservative about moving into northern New England. You've got EMS, LL Bean, IME, Ragged, Wild Things, need I go on.
    REI'll get there, they just need to find the right location.

    Joe.
    Tell them I know a nice place on Lower Main St in Freeport. Closest thing is EMS in Portland. LL Bean is a good store but there's no way they compete head to head with REI or EMS on anything approachong technical gear.
    Stash

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  2. #17
    Senior Member mtruman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteMTHike View Post
    Interesting. I have an REI membership at that very same store in Cranston, RI and they made no attempt to contact me about this garage sale. I would think they'd have sent an e-mail to all members.
    Sign up for the monthly events email newsletter. This includes all the classes and other store events including the garage sales.

    Quote Originally Posted by averagejoe View Post
    mtruman;
    I'm glad you had a good experience. The fact that we as employees are allowed (even encouraged) to go above and beyond to satisfy costomers was a driving reason in my working for REI.
    Any company that has a few dozen or more stores can place big enough orders to cut a deal like the one with Lowa. I understand if you had boots that were broken in you would want to have them repaired, but most big companies would rather just give you a new pair rather than deal with some manufacturers warranty department.

    KRobi;
    REI is really conservative about moving into northern New England. You've got EMS, LL Bean, IME, Ragged, Wild Things, need I go on.
    REI'll get there, they just need to find the right location.
    Joe - it seems like most REI employees feel the way you do. I've never been to any store where all of the sales people seem so genuinely interested in helping. As for my boots I didn't care about whether they were repaired or replaced - I just didn't want to lose the great deal I got on them. I never would have expected REI to bear the cost of either repair or replacement since they were garage sale items. I was just shocked that Lowa wasn't even willing to consider supporting a defective pair of brand new boots regardless of the circumstances.

    As to REI being conservative about moving into northern NE I don't think they have anything to fear. Freeport might be a bit of a tough spot but I think they would have no trouble competing with all of the other places on the list on their home turf. Once people understand both the level of service at REI and the fact that they stand behind everything that they sell forever they become REI customers forever (like me).
    Mark

    Going to the mountains is going home.
    - John Muir


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  3. #18
    Senior Member --M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by averagejoe View Post
    REI is really conservative about moving into northern New England. You've got EMS, LL Bean, IME, Ragged, Wild Things, need I go on.
    REI'll get there, they just need to find the right location.

    How about North Conway, right next to EMS?

    I used to be a die-hard EMS fan in the olden days, but for the last 20 years or so, they've occupied a spot in my mind right next to Friendly Ice Cream, KFC and other outlets that just can't miss opportunities to miss opportunities. Last year, I couldn't find parachute-style snow-stakes at their brandy-new, glittering, Walmart-sized NConway store..., and then found four different types at the hole-in-the-wall IME in downtown NC. It was exactly the kind of thing about EMS that frustrates. REI could kick their butts any time, anywhere..., and that's pathetic.

    On a brighter note, how 'bout that IME?! Or the North Country Angler? Or Peg's Diner, or Limmer, or Kringles, or any of a dozen other retailers who do an awesome job?

    REI could do just fine up there.

  4. #19
    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    The closest REI to Franconia NH 03580 is 117.8 miles. That's bad--and good. Put it in N. Conway.

    http://www.rei.com/map/store

  5. #20
    Poobah Emeritus darren's Avatar
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    Received the below message from Peter Sachs, General Manager of LOWA Boots:


    LOWA compensates REI for all warranty claims, in advance via an allowance at the time we sell them boots. We expect REI to work with their customers, regardless of the price paid by the consumer to REI for any given product. It is not our goal to have the consumer caught between the policies of the companies, but in the case of REI, they do need to solve the problem directly with the consumer.

    Thanks,

    Peter

    Peter Sachs
    General Manager
    LOWA Boots LLC
    203-353-0116 X 13
    Kūlia i ka nu‘u

  6. #21
    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
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    ems in Maine

    blows. REI could just blow right by them. LL Bean now resorted to making lesser quality knockoffs with great warranty. Cabellas is ok but not nearly serious enough for a seasoned backpacker. Patagonia outlet has sales that are great and they always compete well for my attention. So does North Face. In short - There is a chance for REI in New England but stupid people are known to buy crap so beware before you move in and Dicks Sporting goods beats you in sales :-)

  7. #22
    Senior Member mtruman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darren View Post
    Received the below message from Peter Sachs, General Manager of LOWA Boots:
    I'm really glad you looked into this Darren. I was going to send a message to Lowa about my experience and then decided it just wasn't worth it. After hearing the explanation from Peter (which pretty much matches what the manager at REI told me) the whole situation with my issue seems more reasonable. If Lowa is selling their boots to REI at a price that includes REI handling any warranty issues then it isn't really reasonable to expect that they are going to make exceptions for cases like mine. In 99.9% of the cases the boots were sold new by REI and they will take them back forever if there are any issues and either give you a new pair of boots or your money back. They don't just do this for the term of the 1 year manufacturer warranty - so on the whole it's way better for the buyer. REI sells all top brands so they haven't yet resorted to the LL Bean approach mentioned. And the bottom line is that in my case Lowa did the right thing by not making an exception and REI went above and beyond to give me my money back on an as-is bargain. Nothing to complain about there.

    Now off the the Cranston REI garage sale this morning to see what new bargains await...
    Mark

    Going to the mountains is going home.
    - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/

  8. #23
    Senior Member bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darren View Post
    Received the below message from Peter Sachs, General Manager of LOWA Boots:
    My take was that Peter is a reader and responded to the bad press rather than Darren contacting him. Goes to show the clout this website carries through it's exceptional readership!! Nice to know.
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  9. #24
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    I've been a member since 1970. I hated them when they first opened a store in NY, Nyack I believe, because then I had to pay NYS tax. .
    Sure you aren't thinking of the New Rochelle store? (It closed I think in '98 or '99).
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  10. #25
    Senior Member mtruman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubba View Post
    My take was that Peter is a reader and responded to the bad press rather than Darren contacting him. Goes to show the clout this website carries through it's exceptional readership!! Nice to know.
    Don't know why that didn't occur to me. Clearly a lot of clout in the hiking community through the readership here. Interested in the details in this case now.

    BTW - came up empty at the garage sale today for the first time ever. Wasn't quite so much of a zoo either. Perhaps because the last one was only a month ago.
    Mark

    Going to the mountains is going home.
    - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/

  11. #26
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubba View Post
    My take was that Peter is a reader
    Not necessarily... Perhaps someone who knows him or someone high enough in the company forwarded it to him. Same effect, even if the cause might be different.

    Doug

  12. #27
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRobi View Post
    Does anyone know why REI hasn't opened any stores in NH? Competition with EMS? It would seem that the proximity to the mtns would be a selling point but obviously not. I like the products but would not buy something without trying it on. Traveling to Reading and then paying MA sales tax is not a great option. I emailed the headquarters but never got a reply.
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    EMS acquired an independent outdoor retailer in a St. Paul suburb, called the "Lob Pine", sometime in the 70s. I worked there after the acquisition for a couple of years. REI came to town (during my tenure) and opened a store -- less than a mile away. This "coincidence" occurred in a metropolitan area that had a population at the time of something like 2.2 million. It took a few years, but the construction of a "flagship" level REI store in a southern suburb sealed the deal. Bye-bye EMS.

    And something similar happened earlier, when the Easterners extended their reach beyond their grasp to Colorado. Only I think it was the locals, not the Seattleites, who beat them back there, if memory serves.

    EDIT: I've been an REI member since the 80s. It would be very nice to see them hereabouts in the Granite State.
    Last edited by sardog1; 01-30-2010 at 09:12 PM.
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