Recreational Equipment, Inc. (Seattle, REI), a national retail co-op that sells outdoor gear and apparel, announced plans to build its second distribution center in Bedford, Pa. The company selected Bedford after considering various sites in the mid-Atlantic region.
“Local, county and state officials responded very positively to REI locating in Bedford, which has a proven infrastructure for distribution facilities and has great proximity to our east coast retail locations,” said Dave Presley, REI vice president of distribution and logistics, in a statement.
Construction of the planned 400,000 square-foot facility, to be located on approximately 35-acres in the Bedford County Business Park, will begin this year for completion in early 2008, and will employ nearly 350 employees. Upon completion, the distribution center is expected to process approximately 40 percent of REI’s total product flow.
With $887 million in sales last year, REI’s distribution system supports the company’s direct sales and 82 retail stores. The Bedford facility will complement REI’s Sumner, Wash.-based distribution center, which was recently expanded to nearly 700,000 square feet to meet the company’s immediate inventory and distribution needs.
“As we grow and expand our retail and direct sales presence, so has our need to expand our distribution capacity,” said Presley. “Our distribution facility in the eastern region will allow us to continue to provide the high level of customer service and wide product selection that REI is known for, and will prepare us for future growth, particularly in the east.”