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REI to close Orem store, putting 36 out of work

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Recreational Equipment Inc. announced it will close its retail store in Orem at the end of the Christmas season, putting 36 employees out of work.

In a release from the chain's head offices in Seattle, REI said the Orem store is being closed because of slow sales. Company officials promised to try and absorb as many of the displaced employees as possible and assist others in job searches.After three years, the store has not hit performance goals, the press release said. The company says it needs to focus resources on operations that show strong performances, and on new locations, services and shopping formats that contribute to the company's health.

Another REI store in Mission Viejo, Calif., is also being closed. The retail chain opened a new store in Englewood, Colo., and plans on opening one in Wisconsin later this month.

REI operates 50 stores in 21 states. REI reported sales for 1997 of $536 million, up 10.7 percent over the previous year.

The Orem store will be fully operational until Dec. 31, 1998, after which customers can continue to purchase REI merchandise through (www.REI.com).