Do you plan to #OptOutside?

REI storefront on a sunny day.

REI and Outdoor Research are closing on Black Friday, asking customers to go for a hike instead of shopping inside all day long. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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?

Share your comments here, post them to Facebook or tweet them at @SNEWSteam.



Is REI too big?

If it’s not a big-box store and it’s not an independent specialty retailer, then what exactly is it? REI Co-op defies easy definition. It’s a builder of brands and a risk to them. It competes with smaller shops around the country while throwing its weight around to protect more