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REI future looks bright in Sunshine State

SEATTLE — Recreational Equipment Inc. will make its Florida debut in the spring of 2013 with the opening a a store in Jacksonville, Fla. The company also announced that it will open its eighth store in Texas in the city of San Antonio in the fall of 2012.

The company's first Florida store in Jacksonville will occupy nearly 23,400 sq. ft. and will be located at The Markets at Town Center. The San Antonio location will occupy 27,500 sq. ft. 

"Texas and Florida offer an abundance of ways to enjoy the outdoors, and REI is eager to bring our quality products, helpful advice and hands-on classes to our current members and aspiring adventurers," said Rachel Ligtenberg, REI's regional VP east region. "Through our expert employees, outdoor programming and local relationships, we want to inspire more people to live an active lifestyle."

REI currently operates 122 retail stores in 29 states. Other locations opening this fall include Cincinnati, Ohio, Woodbridge, Va. and Medford, Ore. A new store in Indianapolis, Ind. will open on March 16.

The company said that for each store, it will recruit approximately 50 new employees.