REI To Shut For Black Friday

Outdoor retailer REI has procured a novel way to separate itself from the pack on Black Friday: The company is going to close its stores for the day.

In a statement on the website Monday, CEO Jerry Stritzke announced that the retailer would break with tradition and give its more than 11,000 employees the day off on Nov. 27, “paying[ them] to head outside” 😛 TAGEND

“For 76 years, our co-op has been dedicated to one thing and one thing only: a life outdoors. We believe that being outside induces our lives better. And Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of this essential truth.”

Black Friday is one of the biggest sales days of the year for most retail chains. As retailers increasingly try to milk whatever they can out of the shopping bonanza, many employees end up clocking in not just on Friday but Thanksgiving Day itself — a phenomenon known as Black Friday creep. In fact, it’s become a badge of pride for some companies to remain closed even for Thursday.

By shuttering for Black Friday, REI simply might make up for a day of lost sales with a run of good advertising. On its website, the retailer is already encouraging a user to “head outdoors” for the shopping vacation and use the hashtag #OptOutside.

“We’re a different kind of company — and while the rest of the world is opposing it out in the aisles, well be expending our day a little differently, ” Stritzke said in his statement.

REI, a customer cooperative owned by members, has 143 stores.

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