REI lays off 400 retail employees, brings back most of its furloughed staff

REI, the national outdoor recreation retailer and cooperative with several stores in Colorado, is laying off 400 of its retail employees.

The layoffs represent less than 5% of REI’s retail staff, spokeswoman Caitlin Goettler said in an email Tuesday. She said she didn’t have numbers showing how many employees in Colorado are affected by the layoffs.

The company closed its store in Westminster’s Orchard Town Center in June after failing to reach an agreement with the landlord.

In April, REI furloughed about 90% of its retail employees because of the economic impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. The company said it continued to pay for employees’ benefits.

“Since then, we’ve been able to bring the majority of those employees back from furlough as nearly all of our stores are now open in some capacity,” Goettler said.

The workers who were let go were notified last week.

REI, based in the Seattle area, has a total of about 13,000 employees, Goettler said.

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