For doing the unthinkable in retail

You know that idea that people say “is so crazy, it just might work?” That’s what outdoor retailer REI did in 2015 (and did so again in 2016) when it closed all its stores, online included, on what’s deemed the busiest shopping day of the year — Black Friday. In the face of more stores opening their doors earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day, REI summed up what many were feeling was a ridiculous race and started running backwards. It encouraged its employees and customers to take back Black Friday, not shop, and instead spend the day outdoors or what it tagged #OptOutside. It was a marketing coup, and spurred several others in the industry to follow suit. And while there isn’t a wave of the nation’s largest retailers closing their doors for Black Friday 2016, some have begun closing again on Thanksgiving. And that’s a welcome change.

SGB Magazine Fall Innovators Issue celebrates the ideas changing the way we run, hike or play the game. For the full story please click here.

Photo courtesy REI