Specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op, the nation’s largest consumer co-op, will create 280 new jobs with its new distribution center in Lebanon, TN. Construction is underway and the facility, REI’s fourth distribution center in the country, is expected to open in the fall of 2023. The Wilson County facility will serve more than 70 REI stores on the East Coast and in the Midwest and South.
“REI Co-op selected Lebanon to complement our existing distribution centers around the country and to better serve our growing customer base and broader outdoor community,” said Bill Best, REI vice president of supply chain. “Today, approximately 5.6 million REI members are in the service area of the Lebanon distribution center. We look forward to operating a facility that puts the local community, its people and environment at the forefront.”
Headquartered near Seattle, REI has 174 locations across 41 states and the District of Columbia. REI operates five stores in Tennessee that employ nearly 300 people across the state.
Situated on 41 acres in Wilson County, the 400,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will be one mile from I-40 and three miles from downtown Lebanon. It will complement REI’s three existing distribution centers in Bedford, PA; Goodyear, AZ; and Sumner, WA. The Bedford and Goodyear locations are certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Its Goodyear distribution center that opened in 2016 achieved LEED Platinum certification—the highest level in the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) green building rating system—and the first distribution center in the country to achieve both LEED Platinum certification and Net Zero Energy.
“REI is a respected brand that has been trusted by outdoor enthusiasts for over 80 years, and I’m proud the company has chosen Tennessee for its newest distribution center,” commented Governor Bill Lee. “Our state’s central location and unmatched quality of life make it the ideal destination for a company so committed to outdoor recreation, and I thank REI for its commitment and job creation in Lebanon.”
“With more than 223,000 Tennesseans employed across nearly 14,000 distribution and logistics establishments, REI will be contributing to one of our state’s most robust industries,” said Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner (TNECD) Commissioner Bob Rolfe. “We are proud to welcome REI to Tennessee and appreciate their team for creating nearly 300 new jobs in Wilson County.”
Since 2017, TNECD has supported 15 economic development projects in Wilson County, resulting in 4,750 job commitments and $971 million in capital investment.
“On behalf of Wilson County, I want to welcome REI Co-op to our community. This decision was made possible because of the partnership formed with REI and members of our economic development team especially those of the Wilson County Commission,” said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto. “We look forward to continuing our relationship and of being part of REI’s newest technology driven omni-channel operation center. Their commitment to sustainability, to their people and to commitment to technology blends well with the goals and plans of our county. We look forward to further partnering with REI though their community outreach, events and stewardship programs.”
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