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.

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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.