As far as business goes, REI is not that unique. Did you know that most of the staff working the sales floor is FORBIDDEN from working over part time hours, regardless of need or qualification. This way REI can brag about how well it treats it's full time employees without actually having to have any full time employees to treat well.
A good friend of mine worked there for a minute. He had some interesting stories about his short time. My favorite is how REI organized a "volunteer" trail clean-up day and then told all of the new employees that it was "in their best interest" to show up. The implied threat during the meeting was that if you did not volunteer for their work day you would get no hours.
To hell with REI, they don't do anything positive for our community.