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Customer Snapshot: Overview

Over 3.5 Million Members (the largest co-op in the USA)

Few retailers are more committed to enjoyment of the great outdoors than Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). After successfully implementing SAP ERP, REI set in motion the next step in its strategic vision – to have an integrated merchandising tool on one platform – and implemented the SAP Planning for Retail application.

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)

US$1.8 billion (2011)

Number of Employees


Seattle, Washington, USA

Customer Website

Line of Business
Finance, Supply Chain

SAP Solutions
SAP ERP, SAP Planning for Retail

Customer Snapshot: History

Scaling New Heights Since 1938

REI was born in 1938 when Lloyd Anderson, his wife, Mary, and 21 fellow climbers decided to establish an outdoor gear co-op to provide reliable climbing tools at reasonable prices to Pacific Northwest mountaineers.

REI is now the nation's largest consumer cooperative, continuing to return the majority of profits to its members through annual member refunds based on their purchases. 

No matter how large REI grows, it stays true to its roots and has earned a place on FORTUNE magazine's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" every year since the rankings began in 1998.

Customer Snapshot: Business Model


Accessible Adventure

A national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting members for a lifetime of outdoor adventure, REI offers their own line of high-quality gear and apparel, in addition to top outdoor gear brands, through 125 retail stores throughout the United States, on-line through and through mail order.

Quality Outdoor Gear since 1938.

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy

Customer-Fueled Growth

As a consumer co-op, REI focuses on the long-term interests of the co-op and its more than 5 million active members and customers. REI has a vision to grow through opening new retail stores in key markets around the USA and investing in ways that make it easy for customers and members to shop REI however they wish – online, via mobile, or in store.

The Challenge


Strategic Planning

REI’s retail planning system lacked a good strategic planning function. With no flexible product hierarchy, it could not handle REI’s private label business, and was often unreliable. The company also had over 400 legacy systems severely complicating their IT landscape and driving up costs.

REI Moves Strategic Planning from Excel to SAP.


REI Eliminates 400 Legacy Systems with SAP.

Enter SAP

An Integrated Platform

The company didn’t want to stitch together best of breed systems – and end up with gaps. With SAP, REI saw an integrated platform they could build on, and rely on, both now and in the future.

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience


Working Together

With SAP, REI could at last realize their goal of an integrated merchandising tool on one platform. For a business with as many moving parts and places as REI, working with SAP has been a significant step forward.

REI and SAP Collaboration Leads to Success.

Better Business

A Clear Trail Ahead

Moving 500,000 SKUs into an integrated retail platform and switching to cost-based accounting enables better planning, visibility, and reporting for REI. With SAP in place, REI can see deeper into their core business, better plan their private label business, and drive future growth.

Better Business: Benefits


Making the Grade

With SAP Planning for Retail, REI can focus more on its product, understand its perishable goods, and sell more at a lower cost.

Cost based accounting has strengthened planning. There’s better visibility into the core business. They’ve improved planning and focus on their private label business, and strengthened inventory management.

SAP Planning for Retail Helps REI Drive its Business.

Better Business: Run Simple

Reaching the Peak

With SAP ERP and the SAP Planning for Retail application in place, REI now has an integrated retail platform on which it can both rely and build. Better operational planning, control and reporting, and support for their private label business will enable efficiency and growth well into the future.

Journey Ahead


A Map for the Future

Moving forward, REI is looking to SAP's data and analytical tools to help them plan around local demographics and create regionally relevant assortments in its stores. Keeping up with evolving customers, understanding what they want, and providing the assortment they expect when they walk into their REI store is the top priority.

REI Scales for Growth with SAP.

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