Outdoor gear and sporting goods retailer REI is canceling Black Friday this year. No promotions, no hourly sales, promotion… right? Well, not exactly.
In an unique move for the modern-day holiday shopping season, REI’s 143 stores will be closed the day after Thanksgiving. The co-op business plans to launch a campaign Tuesday encouraging people to forgo shopping to spend time outside instead. With the hashtag #OptOutside, REI will ask people to share what they’re doing on Black Friday on social media.
REI is taking direct aim at the consumerism that perpetuates the day after Thanksgiving but let’s not assume that this for purely altruistic reasons. The coverage and discussion the campaign (and the paid promotion behind it) has generated has been quite significant. However, the move aligns with the companies beliefs and proves marketing and corporate responsibility do not have to be mutually exclusive.