REI made big news this week when it announced it plans to cancel Black Friday sales, close its doors and encourage consumers to head for a hike rather than shop for steep discounts. The company is asking customers to document their outdoor adventures with #OptOutside. Most employees will get a paid day off when other retailers ask their workers to come in just a few hours after Thanksgiving dinner, and people are talking about it: CEO Jerry Stritzke was featured Tuesday on NBC Nightly News.
Outdoor Research announced Wednesday that it plans to follow suit and close its doors, too, with another twist – OR will launch an Instagram campaign to raise money for Paradox Sports, which creates adaptive sport communities for people with physical disabilities. OR will donate $1,000 for every 100 Instagrams tagged with #OptOutside and #OutdoorResearch, up to $5,000.
It’s an unprecedented move to bolt the doors on what’s historically a top sales day, and we’re curious what you think about it. Is it a good business move? Would you ever close on Black Friday? And is it benevolent move for a better work/life balance or just a brilliant marketing ploy?