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bananas

(27,509 posts)
Tue Oct 27, 2015, 08:26 PM Oct 2015

REI closing on Black Friday for 1st time in push to #OptOutside

Source: USA Today

Outdoor gear and sporting goods retailer REI is canceling Black Friday this year. No promotions, no hourly sales, no doorbusters, no waiting in line.

In an unprecedented move for the modern-day holiday shopping season, REI's 143 stores will be closed the day after Thanksgiving. The co-op business plans to launch a campaign Tuesday encouraging people to forgo shopping to spend time outside instead. With the hashtag #OptOutside, REI will ask people to share what they're doing on Black Friday on social media.

REI is taking direct aim at the frenzied consumerism that dominates the holidays with a message to do the exact opposite of what Black Friday demands.

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

<snip>

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/10/26/rei-closing-on-black-friday-for-first-time-in-its-history/74627872/

32 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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REI closing on Black Friday for 1st time in push to #OptOutside (Original Post) bananas Oct 2015 OP
Cool Cassiopeia Oct 2015 #1
Press release: REI Closing its Doors on Black Friday – Invites Nation to OptOutside bananas Oct 2015 #2
Even cooler! Dont call me Shirley Oct 2015 #3
For the company’s 12,000 employees, Black Friday will be a paid holiday. bananas Oct 2015 #4
excellent. nt restorefreedom Oct 2015 #8
this is so great. n/t MBS Oct 2015 #24
Why do they hate America? hibbing Oct 2015 #5
And, why are they trying to kill Santa and end Xmas? Shame shame shame. Are NCjack Oct 2015 #7
People are outside on Black Friday Politicalboi Oct 2015 #6
Just got a box of winter goodies from REI delivered to my door this eveningc Person 2713 Oct 2015 #9
I really love this! DesertRat Oct 2015 #10
Good for REI! burrowowl Oct 2015 #11
At last SwankyXomb Oct 2015 #12
REI employees have the coolest camping gear JustABozoOnThisBus Oct 2015 #13
Makes me proud to be a co-op member denvine Oct 2015 #14
While I recognize that plenty of people shop on Black Friday, I never have. Rond Vidar Oct 2015 #15
You probably aren't poor then IVoteDFL Oct 2015 #17
No, I'm not. Rond Vidar Oct 2015 #19
Black Friday is the one time a year poor people can buy nice things IVoteDFL Oct 2015 #16
P.T. Barnum was right: "There's a sucker born every minute." tabasco Oct 2015 #18
the first article assumes that you end up buying extra things that aren't on sale/marked up IVoteDFL Oct 2015 #20
infowars is not exactly a reputable source NewJeffCT Oct 2015 #23
Your second link confirms the TV deals mentioned by IVoteDFL bananas Oct 2015 #25
You may enjoy the game but it's not the only time to get nice things for cheap. Gormy Cuss Oct 2015 #22
Love this! Jimbo S Oct 2015 #21
I wish more retailers would follow their lead. smirkymonkey Oct 2015 #26
Marketing schmarketing. HuckleB Oct 2015 #27
How wonderful and amazing. SheilaT Oct 2015 #28
*Side note, slightly off-topic: Does anyone besides me find it odd that USA Today used silvershadow Oct 2015 #29
Just for that, I'll shop there. roody Oct 2015 #30
Recommend. nt Zorra Oct 2015 #31
K and R! geardaddy Oct 2015 #32

bananas

(27,509 posts)
2. Press release: REI Closing its Doors on Black Friday – Invites Nation to OptOutside
Tue Oct 27, 2015, 08:40 PM
Oct 2015
http://newsroom.rei.com/news/corporate/rei-closing-its-doors-on-black-friday-invites-nation-to-optoutside.htm

REI Closing its Doors on Black Friday – Invites Nation to OptOutside

$2.2 billion specialty outdoor retailer will pay 12,000 employees to not work on November 27

10.27.2015

SEATTLE – In a letter addressed to its 5.5 million members, REI, the nation’s largest consumer co-op and specialty outdoor retailer, has announced plans to close its doors on Black Friday (November 27) at all 143 of its retail locations, headquarters and two distribution centers. Instead of reporting to work, the co-op is paying its 12,000 employees so they can do what they love most – be outside. Starting today, the co-op is inviting the nation to join in by choosing to #OptOutside to reconnect with family and friends this Thanksgiving holiday.

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.”

In his letter to members, Stritzke quotes outdoor visionary John Muir, who said in 1901, “thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home.”

To help aspiring adventurers choose how to #OptOutside, optoutside.rei.com features recommended hiking trails, many built and nurtured by nonprofits supported by REI. Co-op employees and members will be sharing thousands of outdoor experiences throughout the holiday season and afterwards. On the day itself, REI.com will feature a black takeover screen that encourages customers to #OptOutside. In 2015 alone, REI has given $5.9 million to more than 300 nonprofits to take care of 1,000 outdoor spaces in communities across America. REI has invested more than $60 million in the outdoor community.

Stritzke continued, “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 galvanize the outdoor community to get outside.”


About REI

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. Founded in 1938, REI is now the nation’s largest consumer co-op. Its growing community of 5.5 million active members expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 142 stores in 34 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs 150 custom-designed itineraries on every continent. REI’s Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to–and steward–the outdoor places that inspire us.

bananas

(27,509 posts)
4. For the company’s 12,000 employees, Black Friday will be a paid holiday.
Tue Oct 27, 2015, 08:52 PM
Oct 2015
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/rei-closing-stores-black-friday-thanksgiving/412612/

REI: ‘Black Friday Has Gotten Out of Hand’

The retailer is shutting down operations on the day after Thanksgiving and encouraging its employees to go outside.

Bourree Lam 3:11 PM ET

<snip>

Now one company is taking this ethos even further: The outdoor-equipment retailer REI announced on Monday that it plans to close its distribution centers, all 143 of its stores, its headquarters, and even its website on Black Friday this year. There will be no special promotions that day, either.

For the company’s 12,000 employees, Black Friday will be a paid holiday. It’s up to them to decide how to spend their time, but the company is hoping that they will follow a simple mandate: Go outside and do something.

“We’re closing our doors, paying our employees to get out there,” said Jerry Stritzke, the president and CEO of REI, in a press release. “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.”

According to USA Today, Black Friday is one of REI’s top sales days of the year. So while it’s costly, it’s a strong positive statement. “It seems consistent with REI's mission and ownership and does a great job making the organization's values clear to their employees and customers,” said Zeynep Ton, a business professor at MIT who researches how companies can offer better jobs. “Good for them for standing up for something.”

<snip>

Person 2713

(3,263 posts)
9. Just got a box of winter goodies from REI delivered to my door this eveningc
Tue Oct 27, 2015, 11:13 PM
Oct 2015

Good store items and some good employer moves too

JustABozoOnThisBus

(23,468 posts)
13. REI employees have the coolest camping gear
Wed Oct 28, 2015, 05:43 AM
Oct 2015

so they'll be dry and warm while camping in line at Walmart on Thanksgiving night.

They all get to participate on the "consumer" side of Black Friday.

Does camping in line at Walmart count as "getting people outside"?

 

Rond Vidar

(64 posts)
15. While I recognize that plenty of people shop on Black Friday, I never have.
Wed Oct 28, 2015, 11:04 AM
Oct 2015

Oh, I exchange gifts with friends and family, sure...but I'm simply not that desperate to get the latest and greatest "deal".

IVoteDFL

(417 posts)
16. Black Friday is the one time a year poor people can buy nice things
Wed Oct 28, 2015, 11:48 AM
Oct 2015

Last year my television broke around May and I couldn't afford a new one until black Friday when it was 65% off.

I don't think I need anything this year, but my best friend wants to buy a laptop computer so it will be easier for her daughter to do homework. I'll probably wait in line with her and see if any of the big sales float my boat though, because unlike most of you I can't afford to go shopping any other time, except for groceries and necessities.

A quick browse through REI's website tells me that their store isn't meant for people like me anyhow. Their clientele probably doesn't need black Friday sales if they can throw down $100 for some stretch pants.

IVoteDFL

(417 posts)
20. the first article assumes that you end up buying extra things that aren't on sale/marked up
Wed Oct 28, 2015, 12:07 PM
Oct 2015

I never do that. I literally can't.

Secondly, I work at FedEx and even with discounted shipping, it usually is more than I am willing to pay just to get the item to my house.

NewJeffCT

(56,830 posts)
23. infowars is not exactly a reputable source
Wed Oct 28, 2015, 04:54 PM
Oct 2015

while I agree that a lot of times you can find things cheaper at other times of year, I have kept my eye out on a few products that I had bought on Black Friday several years back and I did get the best deal on Black Friday most of the time. I remember one was an iPod that if you bought at Target, you got a $45 gift card to Target with the purchase, or a $50 gift card from Toys-R-Us if you bought it there. Since Target was generally more useful, i bought at Target. I tracked the price until it was past the following Black Friday. That was the best deal for that iPod. I think the next Black Friday, the newer version of that iPod had "only" a $40 gift card with it.

That said, last year, somebody that used to work at Best Buy told me that the best deals for an XBox or Playstation are typically in the several days before Christmas and NOT on Black Friday, and I found a much better deal that way than on Black Friday by following his advice. (I finally broke down and bought one last year.) That said, I thought it was a little stressful thinking that maybe the stores would be out of stock that close to Christmas, or that maybe that guy would be wrong and this year the deal wouldn't be better.





bananas

(27,509 posts)
25. Your second link confirms the TV deals mentioned by IVoteDFL
Wed Oct 28, 2015, 08:25 PM
Oct 2015
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bargain-hunters-dont-shop-on-black-friday/

On the other hand, if you want a cheap TV -- an off-brand, not-so-highly-rated set -- Black Friday is just the ticket. The huge mark-downs you'll see advertised are most often on second-rate merchandise, according to Consumer Reports.

Gormy Cuss

(30,884 posts)
22. You may enjoy the game but it's not the only time to get nice things for cheap.
Wed Oct 28, 2015, 12:42 PM
Oct 2015

It used to be a better deal when fewer stores did it and the door-buster items were regular merchandise marked down to crazy low prices but now it's mostly junk brought in for the event. That said, because it's dirt cheap stuff it's more affordable and it's new which matters for electronics.

REI isn't a store for poor people but it's a good company.

 

smirkymonkey

(63,221 posts)
26. I wish more retailers would follow their lead.
Wed Oct 28, 2015, 08:35 PM
Oct 2015

I find the concept of Black Friday abhorrent. It should be a day for relaxation and family & friends. We are such a materialistic society. Is it really worth it just to get a deal on some cheap crap?

My sisters-in-law are totally in to it and every year they are up at the crack of dawn. I'm like "have fun, I'd rather sleep in, thanks!"

 

SheilaT

(23,156 posts)
28. How wonderful and amazing.
Thu Oct 29, 2015, 02:34 AM
Oct 2015

As someone who has worked retail, in a hospital, and for an airline -- all industries that operate seven days a week, and some are twenty-four hours a day, I am in absolute awe of that decision.

Every single one of you who works in an office -- daylight with weekends off as we used to express it when I was an airline employee -- have not a clue what it's like to work weekends and holidays. You happily shop or go to restaurants and don't often understand that people who are very much like you are working. In those jobs you work holidays, and you don't often get a day off in lieu of the holiday. Which means you get significantly fewer days off than the office workers.

In my years as an airline employee, I worked five days a week -- and in reality somewhat more than that because if someone called in sick I wound up coming in on a day off or working extra hours -- fifty weeks a year. I worked Thanksgiving. Christmas. The Fourth of July. Labor Day. Memorial Day.

It was infuriating when those who worked for the Federal Government complained because the current President didn't authorize the day after Thanksgiving as a holiday, and they were obligated to use their (far more generous than I ever had) leave time if they wanted a four day weekend.

For about three years in a row I actually got up somewhat early the day after Thanksgiving to shop, always with my sister. But there was a real limit to how early I'd get up, and I was never interested in being first in line to score one of seven TVs or whatever the bargain of the holiday was. After a while I realized it was all hype, and I'd rather shop in less frantic conditions.

I suppose it helps that I've opted out of much of our consumer culture. I don't own a TV, so replacing one is simply not an issue. I do have a desk top and a lap top computer, so perhaps when they need replacing I should be desperate to get the cheapest possible bargain, but I'm not. There's a wonderful woman at my local Best Buy who has become my go-to person for electronics. She's knowledgeable and smart, and she has never steered me wrong. So what if I pay a bit more than the rock bottom price? That's not my most important motivation.

In any case, I applaud REI for their decision. I'm now officially retired, and like lots of people I could use a bit more money. I've given thought to working retail, but I'm just not willing to work the day after Thanksgiving, and so for now I'll pass.

 

silvershadow

(10,336 posts)
29. *Side note, slightly off-topic: Does anyone besides me find it odd that USA Today used
Thu Oct 29, 2015, 04:23 AM
Oct 2015

the numerical form in the headline, rather than the word "First"? Is it lazy or dumb journalism, or is it part of the accepted practice? Sorry for the intrusion, but stuff like this bugs me.

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