Outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI was one of the early pioneers in the e-commerce industry, launching its first website in 1996. That online experience has changed quite a bit in the nearly 20 years since its launch, but one thing remains the same: the company continues to try to provide its members (it's a co-op) the best shopping experience possible. In a keynote presentation yesterday at the Shop.org Annual Summit in Seattle, REI's President and CEO Jerry Stritzke, as well as its Senior Vice President of Digital Retail Brad Brown discussed how REI is evolving its digital properties into the 21st century flagship store.
The differences in organizational structure — including how employees are compensated — between retail companies were discussed by a panel at the National Retail Federation's Big Show in New York City this week. The panel included Brad Brown, senior vice president of e-commerce and direct sales at Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI); Ivy Chin, senior vice president of e-commerce at Belk; Jeffrey Liss, senior vice president and general manager, e-commerce and CRM at Charming Shoppes; and Jim Okamura, managing partner, Okamura Consulting.
Recreational Equipment Inc. has promoted Bill Baumann and Brad Brown to senior vice president, information technology and e-commerce and direct sales, respectively. In addition, Kathleen Peterson has been named vice president of private brands for REI. "Bill and Brad's promotions recognize the strategic importance of the information technology and e-commerce divisions to provide the infrastructure required to support REI's growth over the next five years," said Brian Unmacht, REI's executive vice president. "Kathleen's remarkable 25-year career with premier global brands serves her well as she leads the expansion of our award-winning branded gear and apparel offerings."