REI tells employees to stay out on Black Friday

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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REI is once again entirely opting out of Black Friday.

For the sixth year in a row, outdoor retailer REI Co-op will close its 167 stores, as well as activity centers, distribution centers, call centers and headquarters, and pay its more than 13,000 employees for a day off on Black Friday, Nov. 27. The company is encouraging workers to safely spend the day outdoors with friends and family, using a hashtag campaign called #OptOutside. 

A number of retailers are shuttering stores on Thanksgiving this year – including Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Under Armour, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. However, REI, which also shuts the company down for Thanksgiving, is the only major retailer so far to announce this type of closure for Black Friday.

“In the middle of everything, we have watched as people all over the world – some of them for the first time – looked to time outside to reflect, restore and connect to one another,” REI CEO Eric Artz wrote in a letter to employees and members. “In this year of unprecedented challenges staying true to our purpose, living our values and caring for our people and communities is more important than ever.”