REI is going against the grain and putting their money where their mouth is. The sports and outdoor retailer has decided to step out of the Black Friday game, announcing that this year they aren’t going to have one. Not only will they be closed on Black Friday this year, according to an announcement by REI CEO Jerry Stritzke, they have also launched an #OptOutside campaign.
Whether we like it or not, shopping on Thanksgiving isn’t going to go away any time soon. That doesn’t mean some merchants aren’t taking a stand and staying closed. REI has always been a staunch supporter of staying closed on Thanksgiving, and now they are going one step further by extending this policy to their website. You can still shop, but you won’t see any door-busters or Black Friday deals. REI will also be giving their employees a full paid day off on Black Friday.
There are currently more than 100,000 “favorites” and “likes” in agreement on Twitter and Facebook. Their decision to be closed on Black Friday appears to be working in REI’s favor. Many are commenting that they are “Proud to be an REI member”. People are looking at retailers to follow suit. The question then becomes can and should all business close on Black Friday?
Not all of the comments are of praise. Many feel like they are taking advantage in a marketing gimmick and not offer deals normally seen on during the holiday season. Some state that REI customers typically have more disposable income so they are not in “need” for deals. Others are commenting that the trend for opening earlier is becoming a tradition.
What are your thoughts on retailers closing on Black Friday?
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