REI Says No to Black Friday, Will Close Stores

Photo (cc) by functoruser

While retailers across the country are unveiling their store hours for Black Friday, and in some cases, Thanksgiving Day, a Washington-based outdoor and sporting goods retailer is making headlines for doing the unthinkable.

REI is closing its stores on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year.

In addition to giving its employees Thanksgiving Day off, the outdoor retailer announced it’s also locking its doors on Black Friday and paying its workers to head outside instead.

It’s part of REI’s #OptOutside campaign, an effort to encourage its employees and customers alike to skip Black Friday shopping and get outdoors. Click here and enter your ZIP code on REI’s website to find outdoor activities near you.

“We believe that being outside makes our lives better,” REI CEO Jerry Stritzke wrote in a letter explaining REI’s decision to close Nov. 27. “We’re a different kind of company — and while the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be spending our day a little differently.”

Although you can place online orders through REI on that Friday, REI workers won’t process those orders until Saturday.

Snubbing one of the biggest shopping days of the year is a bold move for the retailer, which operates as a co-op business with 12,000 employees and 5.5 million members.

REI’s promotional hashtag has been trending on Twitter since the retailer announced its plans, The Oregonian reports.

Although some people perceive REI’s Black Friday closure as nothing more than smart marketing, the overall response has been positive.

“Normally I don’t click on promoted Tweets, but @REI giving all of their employees a paid #BlackFriday off warrants it. Well done #OptOutside,” Drew Gibson posted on Twitter.

Nick Rod wrote: “I take back everything I have ever said about @REI. This is bold and I love it. #optoutside

Paco Underhill, founder of New York retail research firm Envirosell, has worked with REI in the past. He told The Oregonian that REI’s decision to remain closed on Black Friday and encourage its workers and customers to get outdoors is a good one.

“REI has a long history of being both good to its customers and its employees,” Underhill said. “Americans are a little fed up with all of the Black Friday rigmarole, and REI was smart enough to have its finger on the pulse.”

REI told The Oregonian that Black Friday is typically one of the retailer’s biggest sales days of the year. Even so, REI is gambling that promoting the company’s values will pay off in the long run.

After being open to shoppers on Thanksgiving in both 2013 and 2014, Staple’s recently announced it’s locking its doors on Thanksgiving and giving its employees the day off.

I dislike crowds, and I like shopping in crowds even less, so any shopping I do on Black Friday is typically online. I also live in northern Montana, where below-freezing temperatures and snow often keep us indoors in late November, but if the weather permits, I’ll answer REI’s call to #OptOutside.

What do you think of REI’s decision to close its doors on Black Friday? Do you shop on Thanksgiving and Black Friday? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Common and Costly Homebuying Myths
8 Common and Costly Homebuying Myths

Think you’re ready to buy a house? Don’t fall victim to these rookie mistakes.

Should You Hire a Service to Negotiate Your Cable and Other Bills?
Should You Hire a Service to Negotiate Your Cable and Other Bills?

Services like BillCutterz and BillFixers will negotiate your cable, internet, phone and other monthly bills in exchange for a share of the savings. I tried it: Here’s what happened.

5 Medicare Mistakes to Avoid for a Healthy Retirement
5 Medicare Mistakes to Avoid for a Healthy Retirement

Medicare can be confusing. Beware these missteps — which can hike your costs.

7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You
7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You

How many of these costly online shopping missteps are you making without realizing it?

10 Things That Really Are Free on Amazon
10 Things That Really Are Free on Amazon

These freebies are available to anyone — no Prime membership necessary.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk
Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.