While headquartered across the Sound in Kent, REI began in Seattle in 1938 with 23 mountain climber members. With its flagship store located in the Cascade neighborhood, REI is the largest consumer cooperative in the United States, with more than 3.5 million members and 100 stores nationwide. Selling outdoor recreation gear and sporting goods, REI sales exceeded $1.43 billion in 2008. REI has been ranked every year in FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For," since the list's inception in 1998. In 2009, it ranked 12th.
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