As one who detests Black Friday and the mentality that accompanies it, I want to send out a huge cheer to REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke. The outdoor equipment company will close its 143 stores on Black Friday and its 12,000 employees will be paid to take the day off and get outside. The theme of the day will be #OptOutside. There will be no Black Friday promotions, and online orders received Friday won’t be processed until Saturday.
CEO Stritzke: “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.”
… “We think that Black Friday has gotten out of hand and so we are choosing to invest in helping people get outside with loved ones this holiday season, over spending it in the aisles.”
REI is a great store, very popular in the Denver area. In my estimation this is a bold step (not without risk), a first step toward stopping the Black Friday madness that has overtaken the nation, and I cannot overstate my appreciation of this move.
Congratulations, REI, for once again demonstrating your outstanding corporate values and priorities. Wishing you all the best in this holiday season.