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REI commits to closing stores on Black Friday forever

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Dive Transient:

  • After seven years of closing its doorways on Black Friday, REI is making the custom everlasting, the retailer mentioned in a press launch Tuesday.
  • “For this Black Friday, and each Black Friday sooner or later, the co-op will forgo earnings and gross sales in any respect areas, and as an alternative pay its greater than 16,000 staff to take pleasure in time outdoors,” the corporate mentioned.
  • Prospects can nonetheless place orders on REI’s web site on Black Friday, however order processing and success is not going to begin till the following day. The annual closure extends to the retailer’s shops, distribution facilities, name facilities, exercise facilities and headquarters.

Dive Perception:

Quite a bit has modified since 2015 — skinny denims had been nonetheless in and the pandemic was years away from upending the world — however REI’s dedication to closing shops on Black Friday has not.

The retailer made waves when it first introduced it might forgo gross sales on the most important buying vacation of the 12 months, with then-CEO Jerry Stritzke saying Black Friday had “gotten out of hand” and as an alternative pushing buyers to spend the day outdoors.

“Black Friday is the right time to remind ourselves of the important reality that life is richer, extra linked and full whenever you select to spend it outdoors,” Stritzke mentioned in a press release in 2015.

Since then, the corporate has maintained its stance on Black Friday, layering on extra items to the marketing campaign annually. In 2019, the corporate requested staff and clients to take part in a nationwide cleanup and in 2021 REI mentioned it might match as much as $1 million in donations to its REI Cooperative Motion Fund. 

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“After we first launched this motion, it was thought-about revolutionary for a retail model, however we felt it was the suitable factor to do for our members and staff,” present CEO Eric Artz mentioned in a press release. “Making Choose Outdoors an annual observance will function a yearly reminder of this dedication to doing the suitable factor for the co-op group.”

The choice to completely give staff day off on Black Friday comes shortly after the retailer mentioned it might open shops late on Election Day to make sure staff have time to vote. In different methods, REI’s relationship with its staff has come below barely sharper scrutiny recently: Artz caught flak for commenting that unions had been not “the suitable factor” for its staff shortly earlier than employees at its New York retailer voted to unionize. Since then, staff at a Berkeley, California, retailer additionally voted to unionize.

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