REI recently announced that it plans to close its distribution centers, all 143 of its stores, its headquarters and even its website on Black Friday this year. The day after Thanksgiving will be a paid holiday for its 12,000 employees.
“We’re closing our doors, paying our employees to get out there,” said Jerry Stritzke, president and CEO of REI. “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.”
While Black Friday has historically been one of REI’s top sales days of the year, REI is making a statement that is consistent with its mission and ownership. It is also clearly communicating its values to employees, customers and the world.
REI’s announcement is an outstanding example of strategic marketing and we applaud its decision to fly in the face of traditional shop-’til-you drop sales promotions.