Is the REI/West Elm collaboration a win-win?
REI, the outdoor chain, and West Elm, the home furnishings retailer, have partnered on a collection “aimed at helping people feel at home, outdoors.” The partnership marks the first time REI will sell gear through another retailer.
West Elm, owned by Williams Sonoma, has also partnered with Sherwin Williams on a line of seasonal paint palettes, but the collaboration with REI likewise marks the first time its brand will be sold on another retailer’s shelves.
A statement said the two began working on the collection about a year ago and have “a shared commitment to designing consciously made, quality products that invite people to enjoy the comforts of home while exploring outside — whether close to home or in the greater outdoors.”
The REI x West Elm collection of 35 products, most under $60, includes colorful folding chairs, a portable shade shelter, reusable tableware, a collapsible campfire table, punchy-patterned outdoor pillows and picnic blankets.
Said Paul Calandrella, REI general merchandising manager for camp products, in a statement, “We love the opportunity to partner with a brand that not only aligns with our values, but also shares our passion for curating great outdoor experiences.”
“We designed this modern collection of colorful everyday entertaining essentials and sustainably sourced outdoor textiles to complement REI Co-op’s high performing recreational gear,” said Jeffrey Hannoosh, SVP of design for West Elm. “Our collaboration with REI Co-op inspires families to bring the comforts of home to the great outdoors — from weeknights dining al fresco to relaxing summer weekends in the backyard.”
Many retailers have collaborated on in-store shops, including Sephora at J.C. Penney and Finish Line and Sunglass Hut inside Macy’s. Eddie Bauer has a bedding line at Target and J.Crew products can be found inside Nordstrom. Still, product collaborations between retailers remain rare.
- REI Co-op and West Elm debut retail partnership with co-curated summer collection Lifestyle products help customers enjoy the outdoors – REI
- REI Gets Glampy With West Elm Collection – MediaPost
- West Elm and REI’s New Outdoor Lifestyle Collection Is Here to Help You Make the Most of Summer – People
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more advantages than potential conflicts in product collaboration between retailers, such as the one between REI and West Elm? Will well aligned collaborations remain rare or do they portend a new trend in retail partnerships?