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REI to Close Stores on Black Friday and Encourages Customers to Go Outside

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REI has announced it’s going in the opposite direction of other retailers this year: the outdoor and athletic supply store will close its doors on Black Friday, giving employees the day off with pay.

While many stores have been pushing the beginning of Black Friday earlier and earlier, some of them beginning the discounts and compelling employees to work on Thanksgiving itself, REI has decided to make a statement at its 143 U.S. stores, CNN Money reports.

“We think that Black Friday has gotten out of hand,” said the company’s CEO, Jerry Stritzke. Online customers will be able to make purchases from REI on Black Friday, but first they’ll have to get through a homepage encouraging them to explore the outdoors instead of shopping.

While the move may hurt the bottom line—Black Friday is usually one of REI’s top sales days of the year—it’s also more likely to appeal to the brand’s customers than it would for other retailers. “[W]e can do something like close our doors on Black Friday, and we’ll have the membership that’ll think that’s cool,” Stritzke says.

[CNN Money]

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