REI is making its practice permanent by keeping its doors closed on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
EMBRACE NEW NORMAL The outdoor retailer, eschewing profits on the day after Thanksgiving, will keep its headquarters and all its stores, distribution facilities, activity centers and call centers closed on Black Friday from this year onwards, according to a press release from REI.
The move makes REI's year-to-year Opt Outside tradition of paying workers to spend the day enjoying the outdoors an ongoing, permanent employee benefit, the company said. REI employs over 16,000 people.
Eric Artz, REI President and CEO Eric Artz, said in a statement that Opt Outside has always been about prioritizing the experience of employees by choosing the benefits of time outside of a day of consumption and sales. Making Opt Outside an annual observance will serve as a reminder of this commitment to doing the right thing for the co-op community. With its Black Friday policy, customers will still be able to do online shopping with the outdoor retailer, but order processing and fulfillment for REI.com purchases on Black Friday will begin the next day, REI said in the release.
Since 2015, REI has had a choice to close on Black Friday. Artz said that REI felt it was the right thing to do for our members and employees.