Outdoor retailer REI to boost employee pay in DC area

WASHINGTON — Outdoor recreation and sports gear retailer REI is raising pay for employees at many of its locations including its seven existing stores in the region, and its soon-to-open flagship store in the District.

The company said the raises will range from 5 percent to 15 percent in high, cost-of-living cities including D.C., Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Portland and San Francisco. The increases will be effective Aug. 21.

The move covers about 25 percent of REI’s stores. By mid-2017, all of its employees will be paid above the majority of retailers in their cities, the company said.

“Our pay will be clearly above the majority of other retailers in the Washington, D.C., area, and our benefits offering is already market-leading,” said Tim Spangler, senior vice president of retail at REI. “With these changes, we are delivering a sustainable solution that balances the interests of our employees with the long-term interests of the co-op.”

A statement from REI said its part-time employees are currently paid an average of $11.50 per hour and full-time employees earn an average of $14.50 per hour, both significantly above the federal and District minimum wages.

REI has existing stores in Woodbridge, Fairfax, Bailey’s Crossroads, Tysons Corner, College Park and Rockville.

Its huge, 53,000-square-foot flagship store at the District’s Uline Arena retail project at 1140 Third Street NE, is expected to open in October. It will be REI’s fifth flagship store in the country.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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