Like many people in the Seattle area, and across the country, who enjoy the great outdoors, I am a loyal customer of REI. Their knowledgable staff, great selection, and second-to-none customer service keep me coming back. This is part of their retention strategy. They have a phenomenal return policy, which makes me more likely to buy a product from them, than from a competitor, or potentially, directly from the manufacturer. As a co-op, they also offer a dividend each year: you get 10% of the amount of money you spend at REI back each year. This incentives you to buy things at REI. There is no specific barrier to me leaving…my dividend may decrease, but I’m not going to lose out on anything.
Currently, REI doesn’t attempt to have me refer customers on their behalf. However, I’d argue that the experience one has when shopping at REI is reason enough to refer friends, they don’t need to, and shouldn’t, provide any other incentives for me to refer friends.