Tags: rei | black | friday

REI: Black Friday a Real Turkey for Employees, So Let's Stuff It

Image: REI: Black Friday a Real Turkey for Employees, So Let's Stuff It
 (REI)

Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 11:13 AM

Outdoor retailer REI won't open on Black Friday, Nov. 27 this year, bucking the tradition of opening on the day after Thanksgiving, thought to be the busiest shopping day of the year.

REI chief executive Jerry Stritzke posted a message on the company's website, saying the firm will give its 12,000 employees a paid day off to "go out and play." Seattle-based REI is one of the biggest outdoor and sporting goods retailers with more than $2 billion in sales in 2014, according to Forbes magazine.

REI has more than five million participants in a member-owned cooperative that makes up 80 percent of the company's sales.

"REI believes that being outside makes our lives better," said the company. "That's why this Black Friday, we're closing all 143 of our stores and paying our employees to head outside."

Stritzke said the closing is in standing with the company's image of a life outdoors.

"For 76 years, our co-op has been dedicated to one thing and one thing only: a life outdoors," he said. "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."

Brian Harrower, store manager at the REI in Bloomington, Minnesota, told USA Today it will be the first time in his 25 years in retail that he will be off on Black Friday.

"Somebody has to be the one to kind of put their flag in the sand and say enough is enough," said Harrower. "That's what #OptOutside is for us, is saying we're going to be the first, we think this doesn't make sense anymore, it's not healthy. And an outdoor life is a healthy life."

Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, said REI is in a stronger position to close on Black Friday being in the niche market of outdoors and sporting goods.


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Outdoor retailer REI won't open on Black Friday, Nov. 27 this year, bucking the tradition of opening on the day after Thanksgiving, thought to be the busiest shopping day of the year.
rei, black, friday
374
2015-13-27
Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 11:13 AM
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