Mark Sommers photo


Photo courtesy of REI

The newest and largest retail store in Columbia’s BullStreet District is now open for business.

REI Columbia opened its doors Friday, and will be open for regular business hours (Monday-Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 11-6). COVID-19 caused some delay in the construction of the store, which was set to open in the spring of 2020.

The 20,000-sq.-ft. store at the northwest corner of the district (Bull Street and Freed Drive) offers gear of all kinds for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, cycling, kayaking and much more.

“We are thrilled to add Columbia, South Carolina to our growing list of new locations in the South. This vibrant community is known for its incredible access to cycle and paddle opportunities,” said Gail Kirkland, REI retail director for the South. “We look forward to joining the community and further connecting our local members to the outdoor places they love.”

The store offers shoppers a new stop in the area, and is just a short walk from Segra Park, home of the Columbia Fireflies, who hope to resume play in 2021.

Only a limited number of shoppers will be allowed in the store at once to allow social distancing. All employees and all customers older than 2 are required to wear face coverings while in the store. Disposable masks will be provided upon request.

REI Columbia will also offer workshops for those unfamiliar with outdoor activities but wanting to get started. The company is a member-owned co-op, founded in 1938. While anyone may shop at REI, members pay $20 for a lifetime membership and share in the company’s profits through an annual dividend. The Columbia store is the second in South Carolina and one of more than 160 in 40 states.

“We welcome REI Co-op to Columbia as the first of many retailers in the BullStreet District that will add to our city’s growing vitality in so many ways,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said. “REI’s history as a good corporate partner is impressive, and we look forward to working with them.”

More information on the new store is available at

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