REI is opting out of the shopping frenzy by closing its 143 stores for the day and encouraging employees -- and customers -- to do something outdoorsy instead.
REI is opting out of the annual doorbusting frenzy on the Friday after Thanksgiving by closing its 143 stores for the day and telling its staffers to go take a (paid) hike.
The contrarian move, announced to members on Monday via e-mail, may not make the Kent-based co-op many friends among fellow retailers.
It comes as America’s retail machine readies itself for a combative holiday shopping season. So-called Black Friday, which this year falls on Nov. 27, is traditionally where the first blood is drawn in the fourth-quarter shopping season.
But the co-op, which was established by outdoors-obsessed Seattleites in the 1930s, aims to encourage both staffers and shoppers to forgo the malls and go take a hike instead.
“While the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we hope to see you in the great outdoors,” REI said in the e-mail to members.
It even made up a hashtag for its dramatic statement — #optoutside — so participants can share their outdoorsy Black Friday adventures on social media.