REI will skip Black Friday, pay employees to go outside instead of work

DENVER - Instead of climbing over each other for deals, REI is telling people to climb a mountain, ride the trail or otherwise just get outside.

The day after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but the co-op of outdoor gear stores will be closing all 143 of its stores.

REI also says it will be paying its employees to get outside and be active. That is in addition to the day off employees get on Thanksgiving.

Their website explains, "REI believes that being outside makes our lives better. That's why this Black Friday, we're closing all 143 of our stores and paying our employees to head outside."

CNN Money reports that Black Friday has been among REI's top sales days in past years. However, the business doesn't seem worried about the strategy. They're flaunting it on their website in a clear play for the publicity that such a strategy is already generating.

"We're a different kind of company—and while the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be spending our day a little differently," the company said. "We’re choosing to opt outside, and want you to come with us."


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