REI, or Recreational Equipment, Inc. is closing its doors on Black Friday this year, asking shoppers to instead #OptOutside and explore the great outdoors. The outdoor gear and sporting goods company will be closing its 143 shops nationwide throughout the US and its 12,000 employees will have the day off with paid leave.
REI’s Black Friday page states: “REI stores are closing on Black Friday. The outdoors, and the website, are always open #OptOutside”. In addition to selling sports gear, the site presents a series of expert articles about all sorts of outdoor activities, a search to find sports classes in the area, and resources for local hiking trails.
The company is hoping their #OptOutsidecampaign will encourage people to sack off Black Friday shopping and instead use the day to go explore the great outdoors – a far healthier alternative. In an interview with USA Today, REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke states:
As a co-op … we define success a little differently. It’s much broader than just money. How effectively do we get people outside?
Black Friday for REI has consistently been one of their top ten sales days, but for the sporting company, they are more interested in sending a positive message to its consumers about living a healthier lifestyle.