In a bold move, outdoor retailer REI is closing its doors on Black Friday, which has traditionally been the busiest shopping day of the year.
Instead, the store is paying its employees for the day and encouraging them, and REI shoppers, to “opt outside.” Enter the clever hashtag #optoutside, which is trending on Twitter tonight.
REI’s decision comes as more and more retailers move to stay open on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a trend that has caused major backlash, given that businesses are taking their workers away from their loved ones on a family-centric holiday.
Here is the entire letter from Jerry Stritzke, President and CEO of the retailer: “REI is closing on Black Friday. You read that correctly. On November 27, we’ll be closing all 143 of our stores and paying our employees to head outside.
Here’s why we’re doing it. For 76 years, our co-op has been dedicated to one thing and one thing only: a life outdoors. We believe that being outside makes our lives better. And Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of this essential truth.
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. We’re choosing to opt outside, and want you to come with us.”
What do you think of REI’s move? We’re betting it might be a good business move.