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REI Survey Reveals Enthusiasts Want to Spend More Time Outside and Inspire Others to Follow in Their Tracks with Holiday Gift Purchases

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As the holiday season approaches, REI is gearing up to meet growing demand fueled by outdoor enthusiasts’ wish lists and New Year’s resolutions. The co-op today announced the results of a survey offering new insights about consumer motivations, preferences, and shopping plans.

According to survey findings, two in five American adults are outdoor enthusiasts, participating in outdoor activities at least once every three months. In the next year, 73 percent want to spend more time outside – seven times greater than the number who want to spend more time on career building. Outdoor lovers also want to pass their interests on to others.

“Our customers give gifts from REI to share the joy that comes from being outdoors, and we want to enhance these experiences,” said Doug Schmidt, divisional vice president of Retail at REI. “We look forward to helping people achieve their goals in the new year, whether they hope to break records, connect with nature, or simply spend quality time with friends and family.”

REI’s survey explored three key areas:

Why outdoor enthusiasts love to be active

  • It’s about well-being: Overall, the main motivators for spending time outdoors are fun, fitness, and stress relief – far outranking thrill seeking.
  • No. 1 motivators differ by generation: While fun is the top driver to get outside for Millennials, it’s stress relief for those ages 35-44, a tie between fitness and stress relief for ages 45-59, and fitness for ages 60 and up.
  • It’s a resolution you can keep: In contrast with common aspirations like losing weight, enthusiasts believe spending more time outdoors is achievable.
  • “Working out” is simply a means to an end: Sixty-seven percent say they exercise regularly in order to enjoy outdoor activities.

What’s on their wish lists

  • Gifts to get them moving are on top: Clothing, fitness gear, and winter accessories are at the top of enthusiasts’ wish lists this season. Not sure where to start with shopping? REI has a few suggestions:

     o Fashion meets function with the Patagonia Fjord Flannel Men’s Shirt, SmartWool Sulawesi V-Neck Sweater, and REI Co-Op Down Jacket for Men and Women.
    o Gear hacks to get in shape include the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat, Salomon Speedcross 3 Trail-Running Shoes for Men and Women, and Garmin Forerunner 920XT Fitness Monitor.
    o And accessories to keep loved ones warm include the Pistil Fergus Hat, Marmot 3-Sixty Gloves, and Darn Tough Padded Cushion Ski/Ride Socks for Men and Women.

  • Quality beats image: When it comes to highest quality versus hottest brand name, 86 percent opt for quality.
  • Versatility is key: Seventy-two percent want outdoor-related products they can use for a range of activities versus specific activities.
  • Preferences differ by gender: Men have a stronger preference than women for physical gifts versus flexible or experiential gifts.

How they’ll shop this season

  • Simplicity rules: Over 70 percent of enthusiasts plan to keep it simple and give gift cards or money.
  • It’s a tie with tech: They’re as likely to give gifts that get others outside as they are to buy them the hottest high-tech gadgets.
  • Bricks and mortar still matter: Sixty percent of those shopping at outdoor recreation retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence will opt to visit the physical store. Nearly half say they want the advice of experienced staff.
  • “Self-gifting” runs rampant: Eighty-four percent admit to making “self-gift” purchases – potentially due to the fact that 73 percent have previously received a gift they’ve never used. Over half say they’ve re-gifted.

To find the perfect gifts for the outdoor lovers on your list, visit rei.com/gifts.

View the complementary survey infographic at http://blog.rei.com/snowsports/infographic-unwrap-joy-outdoor-gifts/.

About REI
REI is a $2 billion national multichannel retail co-op headquartered outside of Seattle. With more than five million active members, REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers through innovative, quality products; inspiring classes and trips; and integrated customer service that allows shoppers to buy great gear and clothing in any way they want. REI has 136 stores in 33 states and REI.com and REI.com/outlet. Anyone may shop with REI, while members pay a one-time $20 fee to receive a share in the company’s profits through an annual member refund based on patronage. Membership in the co-op also includes special promotions and discounts on REI Adventures trips and REI Outdoor School classes.

Research was conducted within the U.S. by independent market research company Edelman Berland on behalf of REI from October 10-14, 2014, among 1,099 outdoor enthusiasts age 18 or older. The margin of error for the audience is ±2.95 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

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Elise Chisholm Clare
Edelman for REI
+1 (206) 664-7813
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