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Home / Business / REI sells brand new headquarters outside of Seattle, accepting the ‘new normal’ of telework

REI sells brand new headquarters outside of Seattle, accepting the ‘new normal’ of telework



Outdoor retailer REI may have just completed a new company campus just outside of Seattle, but the company now plans to sell the facility before moving due to the new fact of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, the company said it would leave its 380,000-square-foot building and 8-acre campus in Bellevue with the intention of shifting to a “less focused approach” for its presence in the Seattle area. .

“The impressive events of 2020 have challenged us to re-examine and rethink every aspect of our business and many past assumptions. That includes where we are and how we work, ”Eric Artz, president and chief executive officer, told staff during a video call. “As a result, our new experience of ̵

6;headquarters’ will be very different from the one we imagined more than four years ago.”

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REI initially announced plans for a new headquarters in 2016 on an 8-acre estate in a neighborhood called Spring District.

Construction began in 2018 for a scheduled transfer date to mid-summer 2020.

But then the coronavirus pandemic broke out in early 2020.

REI flagship store on October 24, 2016, in Seattle (Photo by Suzi Pratt / Getty Images for REI)

The company is headquartered in Kent, Wash. approximately 1,200 employees have been working remotely since March 2 in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of a single corporate office location when employees can return to work, REI plans to have multiple satellite facilities in the Seattle area and will “switch to” working remotely as part of ” new normal “for employees.

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The company said the move would also give more flexibility to its employees living outside West Washington, while also reducing the co-operative’s carbon footprint.

“[This year] We’ve learned that a more decentralized way of working that we previously thought irreplaceable unlocks amazing potential, ”says Artz. “This will have immediate positive effects on our ability to attract and retain a highly diverse and skilled workforce, as we continue to navigate the effects of translation of COVID-19 and more ”.

REI also closed more than 160 retail outlets on March 16, causing a serious drop in sales. In May, the company expects a 30% drop in sales for the year due to the pandemic.

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Although stores began to reopen in May and sales have outperformed that forecast, Customer Manager Ben Steele said the company expects “to drop annually.”

During the staff call, Artz said the Bellevue campus sale would also help generate the cash flow needed as retailers try to recoup COVID-19 losses, Q13FOX reported.

REI said on Wednesday it was in talks with “multiple interested parties” to sell the building and never-used property.

Seattle Times reported that one of those parties is Facebook, which has the same high-end facilities in development.

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Associated Press contributed to this report.


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