By Debbie Hauss, Editor-in-Chief

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I just experienced my first backcountry camping trip a few months ago, and REI helped to make it a fun, safe adventure. REI is one perfect example of why stores are not going to die. In this article I’ll share five reasons why the store is here to stay based on my experience with REI. And these tips really can apply to all retail brands.

I know that most retail brands don’t have the advantage of selling products that motivate adventure and help people stay safe while having fun. But I still think the REI model can motivate and inspire all retailers to rethink their store business model.

  1. Employ Associates Who Are Excited To Be There. If this is the one and only tip you take away from this article, then it will have been worth reading. The store employees at REI simply love what they do and they want to share it with anyone who will listen. I visited REI multiple times in preparation for my trip and every time I was impressed by the associates I came into contact with. Some could even be considered overzealous in their excitement to share information, assistance and experience, but it still comes across as a top-quality customer experience.
  2. Integrate Relevant Loyalty Offers Across Channels. REI makes it easy to…