REI makes Kansas debut

SEATTLE — Recreational Equipment Inc. is making its Kansas debut with its first store set to open in Overland Park in the fall of 2013.

REI Overland Park will be located at the intersection of West 135th Street and Lamar Avenue at Prairiefire at Lionsgate. The 23,500 square-foot store will sell the top brands of gear and apparel for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling and travel, including REI's award-winning REI brand and Novara bike products. The new store will offer a bike shop with expert assembly and repair services, and a seasonal gear rental department for customers to test new outdoor activities.

"REI Overland Park will bring our wide range of gear and apparel to customers who have previously purchased products online or by traveling long distances to other REI locations," said Michelle Yancy, REI retail director for the Midwest district. "From biking and hiking to yoga and travel, we look forward to introducing our expertise and programs to adventurers in the Kansas City area."

REI said it will hire 50 to 60 new employees for the new store.

REI operates 123 retail stores in 30 states and two online stores: rei.com and REI-OUTLET.com. New stores will open in San Antonio, Texas, Cincinnati, Ohio, Woodbridge, Va. and Medford, Ore. this fall.