US outdoor retailer REI has bucked the Black Friday trend and has announced it will close all 143 of its retail locations, its headquarters and two distribution centres on November 27th – now one of the busiest trading days of the year.
The company has sent a letter to its 5.5million members informing them of the move and inviting them and the nation to enjoy the time by choosing to #OptOutside to reconnect with family and friends this Thanksgiving, instead of seeking the latest bargains.
Jerry Stritzke, president and CEO of REI, said: “Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the essential truth that life is richer, more connected and complete when you choose to spend it outside. We’re closing our doors, paying our employees to get out there, and inviting America to OptOutside with us because we love great gear, but we are even more passionate about the experiences it unlocks.”
Stritzke added: “As a member-owned co-op, our definition of success goes beyond money. We believe that a life lived outdoors is a life well lived and we aspire to be stewards of our great outdoors. 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. Please join us and inspire us with your experiences. We hope to engage millions of Americans and galvanise the outdoor community to get outside.”