REI is Closing Stores on Black Friday

Posted on October 26, 2015

REI store in Seattle

REI is not having Black Friday this year. It will not run any sales. There will be no doorbuster deals. The stores will all be closed. Shoppers will be encouraged to go outdoors instead. REI will be paying its employees for the day.

A USA Today story broke the news that REI is closing on Friday. It will be running a campaign encouraging shoppers to spend time outside instead of shopping and waiting in lines. USA Today says in the past Black Friday has been a top 10 sales day for the outdoor retailer so the decision to close is a surprise.

REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke told USA Today that he was at first apprehensive about shutting down for Black Friday. He says, "Any retailer that hears this will be startled by the idea. As a co-op ... we define success a little differently. It's much broader than just money. How effectively do we get people outside?"

Stritzke is also quoted by CNN/Money as saying, "As a co-op ... we define success a little differently. It's much broader than just money. How effectively do we get people outside?"

CNN/Money says shoppers should not expect shopping deals on REI's website on Black Friday either. The website will be open but the REI site will encourage potential deal seekers to explore the great outdoors.

REI's Black Friday page also spreads the outdoor message. It says, "REI stores are closing on Black Friday. The outdoors, and the website are always open. #OPTOUTSIDE." The site also has a countdown until it closes on Black Friday.

Staples and GameStop have decided to close stores on Thanksgiving Day this year but REI is the first (and probably the only store) to close on Black Friday.

REI's OptOutside Black Friday campaign


Image: REI Seattle