REI will close on Black Friday

The Black Friday backlash is already underway this shopping season.

REI has joined the ranks of rebellious retailers with the announcement that it will close all 143 stores nationwide on November 27. There are five REI stores in the metro area in Atlanta, Buford, Perimeter, Kennesaw and Alpharetta. In addition, the company will pay employees to go outside on their day off.

Why? Here’s what President & CEO Jerry Stritzke had to say in a statement on the company website:

“For 76 years, our co-op has been dedicated to one thing and one thing only: a life outdoors. We believe that being outside makes our lives better. And Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of this essential truth,” Stritzke said.

2002- Blairsville -Swingers enjoy the relaxing view of Fall color that surrounds Lake Trahlyta at Vogel State Park. Iit's an easy hike along this 1-mile trail around lake, or hike up into the mountain trails for a closer look at Mother Nature's annual show.(Staff Photo/Nick Arroyo)

Lake Trahlyta at Vogel State Park. (Staff Photo/Nick Arroyo)

In recent years, it has been a trend for retailers to not just open on Black Friday, the traditional kick-off to holiday shopping season, but to open as early as Thanksgiving evening. Several stores such as Staples, Game Stop and Half Price Books have announced they will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day this year. Von Maur, the department store with two metro-area locations, has long distinguished itself as a retailer that refuses to open on Thanksgiving Day. REI has taken it a step further by deciding to remain closed on Black Friday.

Other stores may have decided to reduce hours during the big shopping weekend because they aren’t generating huge sales, but REI is not only letting go of any potential sales, but they are also paying their employees to not work.

Here’s the vid from REI, complete with social media hashtag. Looks like they are hoping to start a trend. We’ll see if it catches on.

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