REI Co-op might be coming off a tepid sales year due to store closures last spring when Covid-19 struck, but the company has no intention of stopping its tradition of asking consumers and employees to spend time outside on the busiest shopping day of the year rather than spend money on holiday gifts, according to a report by Outside Business Journal, a trade magazine covering the outdoor retail industry.
The Seattle-based outdoor retailer last week announced that it will again close its more than 170 locations — including stores, activity centers, distribution centers, call centers, and headquarters—on Thanksgiving and Black Friday (Nov. 25 and 26) for its annual #OptOutside campaign. It will mark the seventh year in a row that the co-op forgoes profits and sales on the busiest shopping day of the year, but still pays its more than 15,000 employees.
“As the last year and a half has continued to challenge us all, #OptOutside is a reminder of the importance of community and time outside,” said REI CEO Eric Artz. “What started as a special moment for employees has become a movement for the co-op community to come together and prioritize action on the things that matter most.”