TECHNOLOGY

REI steps up its gear rental game this winter

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The nation’s largest consumer co-op is expanding its winter gear rental portfolio into a new category.

Starting this month, REI will enable customers to rent snowshoes in 70 of its stores across the country, a move that offers customers a more affordable way to try out new equipment. REI co-op members get a discounted rate on all rental gear.

Customers that choose to purchase the rentals can do so in-store or online. At the end of the season, gently used rental equipment will be sold through REI’s used gear program featured online, according to REI.

“At REI we believe in the transformative power of spending time outdoors, but factors such as price and storage space can be barriers to getting outdoors,” said Peter Whitcomb, director of new business development and head of REI’s rental program. “Offering rental gear makes it that much easier for people to learn a new hobby, check out new gear, connect with friends, and get outside.”

REI plans to continue expanding its rental program into new categories and additional locations throughout 2019, according to the company.

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