REI Co-op is flexing its digital muscle by expanding the selection of gear and apparel available online through its brand partners, including Danner, ECCO and Salomon.
The expansion of its online curated product inventory is being enabled through DSCO, a drop-shipping distribution platform. Orders placed by REI customers will be fulfilled and shipped to their home addresses directly by the brand partners.
“This functionality opens up so many doors for our customers and gives them access to new sizes and styles of products that we could not stock previously,” says Curtis Kopf, REI’s chief digital officer. “Now it will be easier to support our customers when they are asking for extended sizes, new styles, or additional colors.”
The move also allows REI to expand its product offerings without having to tie up its own warehouse space storing that inventory. In addition, orders placed for its brand partners’ products will provide REI with more insight and data on its customer’s buying habits and preferences, allowing it to better address their future needs.
The Kent-based outdoor-gear retailer added 1 million new members last year, bringing total membership to more than 18 million, and posted a $47.1 million profit. The company, which employs about 13,000 workers, operates 157 stores in 37 states and the District of Columbia.