Copied from my Linkedin post:
REI announced they are closing all of their stores on Black Friday (Nov 27) to allow their members (customers) to “do what they love most – be outside”. I am a frequent REI customer, and I was very impressed when I heard about the Black Friday initiative.
I think this is excellent for a few reasons:
- REI gets a tremendous amount of free publicity
- The #OptOutside effort completely aligns with the REI brand image which is centered on encouraging outdoor activities, environmental stewardship, etc.
- Great for employee morale – all of whom (12,000) will be paid for the day off
- The demand for the goods the customers were going to buy on Black Friday will likely not only stay intact, but also may increase due to the additional chance to get outside
- This is both unique and unconventional, and if other companies adopt it (unlikely) they will be “doing the store closing thing REI started”
Kudos to REI – this appears to be a brilliant move on their part. I expect this will pay off for them and will become an annual practice. It will be very interesting to see how this impacts Holiday season revenue. No doubt the employees will love it – the benefits of which are immeasurable to both REI and their members.