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Nebraska's first REI store to open this week

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Popular outdoor recreation retailer REI will open its first Nebraska store on Friday.

REI will open its new 22,000-square-foot store at Nebraska Crossing in Gretna at 10 a.m. It features a wide assortment of outdoors gear and apparel for camping, cycling, running, fitness, hiking, snow sports, climbing and more. There's also a specialty bike shop staffed with certified mechanics.

“REI aspires to be at the center of people’s active lifestyles,” Josh O’Connell, REI store manager, said in a news release. “Our team of 57 associates have a passion for the outdoors and we are ready to be a resource to the community.”

REI is technically set up as a cooperative, and the company said there are already 21,000 members in Nebraska, with two-thirds of those living in the Lincoln and Omaha areas. Membership is not required to shop at the store, but members get special perks such as free shipping on online orders and discounts.

Previously, the closest REI stores to Nebraska were in West Des Moines, Iowa, or Overland Park, Kansas.

The Gretna store is planning a three-day grand opening event this weekend, which will include product giveaways and live music.

For more information about the store and the grand opening ceremonies, go to: www.rei.com/stores/gretna.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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