Get ready SoHo – REI is coming to the neighborhood. With more than 70 years behind them in the business and 121 stores across the country, New York is finally getting its own REI store. The new store will be located in the Puck Building on Houston and Lafayette Streets with 35,000 square feet. It will be one of REI’s five largest stores and will have both REI-standard equipment and some special New York features, like a street level bike shop for New Yorkers to get their bikes fixed quickly.
REI plans to offer all sorts of hiking and other outdoor activities from the SoHo store. As J.J. Jameson, an instructor for REI’s outdoor school, said, “We’re also going to be appealing to a really broad segment of the market who’ve never been out of Manhattan, and we’re trying to make it really easy” to go out and explore.
REI certainly hopes to sell a lot of clothing and equipment, but they have a broader mission as well. REI’s chief executive, Sally Jewell, said that without more people who enjoy the outdoors and want to do outdoor training “as an industry we’re really in trouble in a generation.”