US outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI has appointed Ben Steele as its first chief creative officer.

Starting on 1 January, Steele will lead the company's creative strategy across physical and digital assets, private brand product development, product assortment and REI's employment brand.

Steele most recently served as executive creative director at brand experience design agency Hornall Anderson in Seattle.

REI is a US$2bn national multichannel retail co-op, serving the needs of outdoor adventurers, with more than 5m active members and 137 stores.