Thousands of people flocked to the Empire Center in Burbank Friday morning to get a chance to be among the first customers in REI’s newest store.
The outdoor recreation retailer is the latest occupant in the building at 1900 W. Empire Ave., which used to be occupied by the now-defunct Sports Authority. The Burbank location is REI’s 150th store in the country and its 29th in the state.
Open parking spaces at that side of the Empire Center were few and far between. Many outdoor enthusiasts and those curious about the new store took up all of the spaces in front of REI as well as the spaces in front of the neighboring Lowe’s and Target stores.
“We were expecting a lot of...