REI takes wares online

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Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), a Seattle-based retailer of outdoor gear and clothing, Monday launched an REI Online Store on the Internet. (http://www.rei.com) The site provides consumers information on outdoor sports, from pitching a tent to purchasing one and using it on a trip to Katmandu. The store is divided into three main areas:.

--Great Gear, a virtual marketplace in which users can browse through products, ask questions and securely place orders online. The section provides a photo and detailed information for each product for sale. The store is coming online with an initial 1,000 products..

-- Get Out There, a section which provides customers and members with resources for getting outdoors. Two key features are the Gear Gang, a group of product experts who will answer e-mailed questions within 24 hours; and interactive, educational clinics through which visitors can learn the basic "how to's" of camping, climbing, cycling, paddling and snow sports. -- More Than a Store, a section through which members of REI consumer cooperative can check on their patronage refunds, change their addresses and find corporate information. This section also includes a store locator that lists the 46 stores across the country, complete with city-grid maps to each location.

Copyright September 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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