I'm with you Ige, I try to avoid REI when I can. When Mountain Miser closed that put a dent in full line retailers for outdoor junk. The Englewood Army Surplus had some stuff. Problem is there just aren't that many places other than REI anymore unfortunately.
FWIW, REI is a member owned co-op, so any profit is returned as dividends to the membership, rather than a strictly for-profit corporation like Wal-Mart. But they are a big organization, that's for sure.
'91 Pickup - Imelda
'08 Tacoma TRD - Donna
'09 Kawasaki KLR650
'12 Gunnar Rockhound 29
"Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. " --Albert Einstein