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We are working with REI in their search for a Director, Digital Retail (Ecommerce) Sales & Marketing based in Kent, WA. REI offers an enviable work environment that Fortune Magazine has recognized on the “100 Best Places to Work” list since the award’s inception – 16 years in a row!

Sure, they work hard, but that ethic is balanced with time off to play — a strategy that works for REI as it continues to grow and thrive. Want to enjoy a workplace where you can be yourself, be heard and be respected while having a job that challenges you?

This is the place.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: With 127 stores in 31 states, REI offers unique benefits to its more than 11,000 employees, including an excellent total compensation package, gear and apparel discounts, free equipment rentals, healthcare coverage for full- and part-time employees, generous retirement plan contributions, public transit subsidy, adoption assistance and paid sabbaticals after 15 years of service.

REI’s Ecommerce Sales and Marketing Director contributes to the firm’s success through the development of digital merchandising and marketing strategies that support REI’s aggressive eCommerce growth plans.

I suppose if I have one regret about my career as an ecommerce recruiter, it’s that I have not had more opportunities to work with REI. I don’t know that I’ve ever worked with a better client, and I certainly never worked with a client who is more committed to their cause than REI.

REI’s core purpose is “to inspire, educate and outfit people for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship.” Currently the firm seeks a new CEO because its former CEO, Sally Jewell, was hand-picked by Barack Obama to serve as United States Secretary of the Interior, an office she assumed just last month. During her tenure at REI, Sally’s values became REI’s, where …

  • Every person is genuinely important
  • Management has a low tolerance for differential treatment of people
  • Management genuinely cares about what everyone has to say
  • Everyone should have an opportunity to contribute
  • Management creates an environment where everyone can be successful

You hear this stuff at every company, but in all fairness — not every company has a climbing wall in its lobby. Under Sally’s stewardship, REI became a staple of the Fortune magazine best places to work in America rankings. And REI is as serious about multichannel as it is its culture: With 23% of the company’s current sales being digital and a goal to hit 35% (of $2 billion!), REI’s ideal Director of Digital Retail candidate must share these values and be a digital visionary with a track record of omnichannel success.

REI’s major strengths include its focus on its mission and its co-op business model (where its customers are members). REI members run an incredible 70% retention rate, which is a primary reason the firm is investing disproportionately in the digital space. REI is seeing significant growth in traffic coming from its mobile platforms, and its knows that the millennial segment is important to the firm’s growth. Many of the candidates with whom REI has spoken have worked for retailers doing only 2% – 5% of sales through digital channels. That won’t cut it at REI.

Candidates, ask for my intel on this search. The kickoff call with this position’s hiring manager lasted 65 minutes and we know quite a bit about what REI wants in the role.

In this role, you will …

  • Be responsible for driving sales and increasing conversion via working in partnership with the Merchandising, Marketing, Customer Experience and Retail Solutions Development teams.
  • Lead the Site Merchandising, Site Marketing and Analytics, and Outlet eCommerce teams.
  • Drive the adoption of a customer centric mindset by leading the development of business requirements that will evolve the customer experience making it easier and more compelling to do business with REI.
  • Work across the company to build broad understanding and support for emerging digital consumer trends in the marketplace, and the impact customer adoption will have on the company.
  • Identify solutions that best position REI for success in the changing consumer marketplace. Models and acts in accordance with REI’s guiding values and mission.
  • Lead the development of a site merchandising and marketing messaging strategic plan in partnership with merchandising and marketing leadership teams to deliver successful financial results.
  • Build business partnerships with strategic product vendors that support the growth of the eCommerce business.
  • Ensure teams are actively applying customer insights and business performance data to the development of strategic and tactical direction.
  • Stay current on industry practices and issues, assessing and communicating their potential impact on the business.
  • Build the organization’s capabilities required to implement and support the eCommerce strategic plan.
  • In concert with other eCommerce leaders, continue to build internal awareness and understanding of the impact eCommerce has on, and the value eCommerce delivers to customers of the co-op.
  • In partnership with REI’s eCommerce Leadership team, prioritize the development of new site functionality, interfaces, and services.
  • Develop and maintain strong professional relationships with key individual stakeholders and partner teams throughout REI.
  • Deliver annual team resource, expense, and performance plans in support of eCommerce goals and objectives.
  • Communicate progress, obstacles and solutions to partners and management for the successful delivery of corporate initiatives.
  • Ensure effective negotiations with vendors and that contractual performance standards are met or exceeded.
  • Build capacity of individuals and teams through effective employee development, involvement, communication, and supervision efforts.
  • Create a strong, mutually supportive work spirit and culture where people can do their best.
  • Establish trust and inspire others.
  • Make effective organization and people decisions in a manner consistent with REI’s values and ethics.
  • Deliver on commitments and holds others to same.
  • Champion the organization and advocates solutions in the overall Company’s best interest.
  • Use business knowledge, innovative thinking, and sound judgment in the solution of problems or the pursuit of business opportunities.
  • Consolidate information from various sources including feedback from others to reach sound decisions.
  • Consider the ultimate impact of decisions and actions on internal and external customers.
  • Foster change in company direction.
  • Effectively plan and execute changes.


  • 5+ years progressive corporate management with leadership in a sales, marketing, or merchandising role required.
  • 5+ years of progressive leadership experience in e-Commerce preferred
  • Knowledge of retail, manufacturing, and distribution processes with experience in multi-channel retailing preferred.
  • Bachelor degree in Marketing, Business or related field. MBA preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in balancing and managing the creative aspects of building effective ecommerce customer experiences while achieving the quantitative demands of cross-channel sales.
  • Proven experience establishing vision and goals; developing strategic and tactical plans; and leading cross-divisional teams in accomplishing key strategic initiatives required
  • Knowledge of business principles from multiple disciplines and ability to apply these principles in driving change/outcomes in cross-functional projects and activities required.


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