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REI Opening at The Market Place

The Market Place, known for its variety of best-in-class stores and restaurants, has announced that premier outdoor retailer REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) will open on the Tustin side of the center this fall. REI offers top-quality outdoor gear and apparel, including the co-op’s award-winning REI and Novara lines.

“REI is a well-known lifestyle brand and a perfect fit for The Market Place,” said Keith Eyrich, President of Irvine Company Retail Properties. “The store will be embraced by our active lifestyle customer, as well as serve the greater Orange County market.”

The Market Place store will be a relocation for REI from Santa Ana and will increase the store’s size from nearly 25,000 to 33,500 square feet. The larger location at The Market Place will allow REI to increase its current product assortment by approximately 30 percent. The store will also provide a bike shop for assemblies and repairs, gear rental department and community space where nonprofits and outdoor organizations can hold classes and events. The new store will be located next to Best Buy, off Jamboree and El Camino Real in Tustin.

“Moving three miles away allows us to provide our current customers more room to shop and a wider selection of gear and apparel to choose from,” said Steve Eaton, REI Santa Ana store manager. “We are also thrilled to offer our local partners the opportunity to host events, classes and presentations for large groups in our new community room.”

REI partners with local organizations that help people experience and conserve the outdoors through education, volunteerism and its grants program. This year, the co-op provided $160,000 in grant funding to 16 non-profit partners in the Los Angeles area. Examples of these organizations include the Audubon Center at Debs Park, Inside the Outdoors Foundation, Los Angeles Outward Bound and Trails4All.

To help increase confidence when recreating in the outdoors, the co-op also offers REI Outdoor School in the Southern California region, where families and outdoor enthusiasts can sign up for one-day, entry-level classes. Local outdoor instructors bring the gear and teach basic to advanced skills for a variety of outdoor activities, including bicycling, navigating, paddling and hiking.

While anyone may shop at REI, members pay a one-time $20 fee and receive a share in the company’s profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. Based on the co-op’s 2009 sales, more than $80 million was distributed to 3.9 million active members through the dividend program. Members also receive discounts on gear rentals, trips offered through REI Adventures and local REI Outdoor School classes. REI currently has 112 stores nationwide and 26 stores in California.

About REI
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

About The Market Place
The Market Place, owned by Irvine Company, is located off the Santa Ana (5) Freeway and Jamboree Road in Irvine and Tustin. The Market Place offers
1.6 million square feet of more than 120 shopping and dining choices. For more information, visit www.ShopTheMarketPlace.com.

Irvine Company is a privately held company based in Newport Beach, California. The company’s retail portfolio includes Fashion Island, Irvine Spectrum Center, The Market Place and 36 neighborhood and community centers.