Outdoor retailer REI will close its doors once more this Black Friday, bringing back its successful #OptOutside campaign it started in 2015, promoting its employees and customers to get outdoors instead of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.
The co-op will close all 149 of its locations for both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, including processing no online sales, and pay all 12,287 employees during the period.
A vast network of organizations will mobilize millions more in 2016 to embrace the outdoors and create a new holiday tradition for all Americans, a rep from REI said.
“This year, REI will shut down on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday because fundamentally we believe that being outside makes us our best selves – healthier and happier, physically and mentally,” REI CEO Jerry Stritzke said. “But as a nation we’re still spending over 90 percent of our lives indoors and it’s a trend we need to tackle. I love that there is a community of people in this country who dedicate their lives to that mission, so together, we are asking America, ‘Will you go out with us?'”
REI is launching a new outdoor activity finder at REI.com/opt-outside to help people reconnect with family and friends this holiday season. REI.com/opt-outside will also serve as the hub to get involved, declare support or invite others to join the movement. Visitors can upload photos, share through social media, discover thousands of trails and parks nearby or get connected with non-profits that steward the outdoors.
REI gives 70 percent of its profits back to the outdoor community annually and has united more than 275 non-profit, government and corporate partners to inspire millions of people to hit the trails, parks and waterways on November 25.
Stritzke continued, “The moment we announced our decision last year, people who build their lives around the outdoors really embraced the idea of reclaiming Black Friday. It took on a life of its own and became about much more than REI. #OptOutside should be a platform for the nonprofits and public servants who are on the front lines of the outdoor community. They’re the ones who make the outdoors accessible for everyone. That’s why, from today onward, we’re going to lift them up as the official spokespeople for #OptOutside.”
Photo courtesy REI