REI Stops Selling 5 NRA-Linked Brands

March 2, 2018, 4:32 PM UTC

Outdoor retailer REI plans to discontinue sales of five brands after customers pressured the company to sever its relationship with a major manufacturer with close ties to the National Rifle Association.

REI announced Thursday evening it would halt orders of products from Vista Outdoors, whose brands include CamelBak (maker of popular water bottles), Bell (known for its bicycle helmets), and Giro (a ski goggle manufacturer).

The announcement followed Dick’s Sporting Goods announcement it wouldn’t sell assault-style rifles in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. and WalMart’s decision to raise the age to buy firearms to 21.

Customers lobbied REI to make the decision, with nearly 18,000 signing an online petition. Another outdoor retailer, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, cut ties with Vista Thursday as well.

Beyond the products REI sells, Vista also owns Savage Arms, which makes “modern sporting rifles.” REI says it was Vista’s silence after the events in Parkland that led to the decision.

“We believe that it is the job of companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition to work towards common sense solutions that prevent the type of violence that happened in Florida last month,” the company said in a statement announcing the change in the relationship status with Vista. “We learned that Vista does not plan to make a public statement that outlines a clear plan of action. As a result, we have decided to place a hold on future orders of products that Vista sells through REI while we assess how Vista proceeds. Companies are showing they can contribute if they are willing to lead. We encourage Vista to do just that.”

Correction, March 2, 2018: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of brands affected by REI’s announcement. It is five, not 50.

Read More

Great ResignationInflationSupply ChainsLeadership