We recognize that as a consumer co-op, REI is well-positioned to make business decisions that reflect the values of their customers, who are their owners. And, at $2.6 billion in annual sales, they are of sufficient size to gain the attention of the suppliers. Yet, we think it nevertheless provides an inspiring example for all retailers , especially independently-owned operations. You already are applying standards to your vendors and suppliers, every time you make a buying decision. But you probably have never documented them, have you? Or posted them for your customers to see. Or reminded your employees of 'why this merchandise instead of that merchandise?' Or, let your suppliers know just why (or why not!) you are buying from them. You too could be more of an 'agent for your customers.' REI is right about one thing: 'It's expected by the consumers.' Values do matter. Speak up about what your stores stand for. Share that with your suppliers. Recognize these standards as important elements that make your stores special. It's already part of your business. Now make it part of your competitive edge!