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REI to Close Stores on Black Friday

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posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 11:58 AM
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That's right, REI has decided not to be open this Black Friday. REI is an outdoor outfitter geared toward the mountain climber, kyaker, back packer, mountain biker ect. They've been known for a long time for their customer service and return policy (which they recently changed).

REI is a member-owned "co-op", but what does that mean?



REI started as a cooperative, or co-op, in 1938 and we've stayed true to that business structure ever since.

Being a consumer co-op, rather than a publicly-traded company, enables us to focus on the long-term interests of the co-op and our members. We answer to you—our members—and run our business accordingly. And it means that we're able to operate a business that plays a vital national role in growing outdoor participation and protecting the environment for future generations.

Anyone may shop at REI, member or not. But co-op members pay $20 for a lifetime membership to join and receive a portion of the cooperative's profits each year based on a percentage of their eligible purchases, among many other member benefits.

REI.com

So this year, they've decided not to be open on Black Friday. Here's what they had to say about it:



Outdoor gear and sporting goods retailer REI is canceling Black Friday this year. No promotions, no hourly sales, no doorbusters, no waiting in line.

In an unprecedented 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.


Personally I applaud REI in this move. I think consumerism has gotten completely out of hand in America. We've become mass-consuming monsters, robotically lining up for "door buster deals". At what price is our sanity, morality and character worth? Is it being trampled by other people or pepper sprayed for a $400 60" TV?

The CEO continues and explains:



"The thing that is powerful to me is this clearly is not a financially self-serving act," he says. "It's an act where we're really making a very clear statement about a set of values."

USA Today

Good for REI for having principles and deciding to put people over profit. They aren't just closing the stores and encouraging people to go outside (actually using the gear you might buy from REI incidentally!) -- but they're also paying their employees for the day off as well:



...the outdoor and athletic supply store will close its doors on Black Friday, giving employees the day off with pay.


Another quote from the CEO:



“We think that Black Friday has gotten out of hand,” said the company’s CEO, Jerry Stritzke. Online customers will be able to make purchases from REI on Black Friday, but first they’ll have to get through a homepage encouraging them to explore the outdoors instead of shopping.

Time

And I totally agree with him. If your business can afford to close and pay the employees for the day off -- you've just won me over as a future customer. Heck, I already am one. I have an REI membership that gives me 10% annually on anything/everything I buy. I've known a few people that have worked at REI over the years, and usually they're enthusiasts working a 2nd job for even more discounts on gear they actually use themselves.

I'd rather buy my Patagonia jacket or North Face winter pants from REI than Cabella's or Bass Pro, as I agree more with REI's business model and want to avoid this:



No thanks! I'd rather go outside ...




posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:04 PM
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Great news! I totally agree with you on supporting this kind of behavior.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:06 PM
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Good on REI.

I wish all companies were forced to close on that wretched excuse for a business day, but I digress. People are going to find any way to save a dollar these days, even if it means running others over with injurious actions and no thoughts otherwise.

That entire day makes me disgusted with the public. Might as well stop talking about it now.





posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:09 PM
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Here's a little something I wrote back in 2012 about my feelings on Black Friday, it seems fairly appropriate to share here:

Driving past Walmart on Thanksgiving eve before the big 8 p.m. “Black Friday” sale, I took note of the long line of brake lights and hordes of eager shoppers. Every year I avoid these sales and the ensuing madness that they inevitably bring.

As I continued to watch the line of people snake behind the building, I thought to myself that the temperature outside was fairly cold. Seasoned Alaskans know how to dress for the weather I mused, and I continued on my way.

Those of us that had to work on Black Friday were discussing the deals, the crowds, and just how downright nasty these sales can be. Someone then asked me where’s the order, civility and dignity? Where’s the holiday spirit? After some thought I think I may have located it.

Our civility and dignity have been overtaken by our consumerist culture. We’re being bombarded daily with social memes that tell us that we need to consume X, or buy brand Y. This culture has twisted us, and seems to glorify the fetishizing of useless objects.

News stories are pouring in today of people being trampled; pepper spray being used and abandoned children in parking lots. Is this the society we want to be? At what “door-buster price” are we willing to sell our morality and civility? Apparently it’s a 40 inch TV for less than $300.

This type of culture touches upon everything, and bleeds down into the very way we treat each other. This “keeping up with the Jones” syndrome, combined with tight wallets is turning us into consumer-monsters.

Children today expect a huge pile of presents for Christmas, instead of maybe one or two high-quality items that will last for years. Personally, I’d rather get one quality sweater that I can wear for a decade than 10 Blu-Ray DVDs that I may watch only once.

While it’s impossible give a concise diagnosis, I believe we should all take a step back and look at what we’ve become. And while there isn’t going to be a single solution to this madness, I can offer one prescription: Don’t let a commercial define you. Define yourself by truly being yourself. Author thought-provoking books, paint a picture, write a song, create a new recipe, spend time with family and investigate the world.

Memories and experiences are the most valuable things we all collect. We can’t take that “door buster” special with us when we die. In the spirit of the Holidays, life is too short to stand outside in a line.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:09 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

I wonder why they call it "Black" Friday?

Anyway, I don't really care; good for REI, and I'll be on the San Juan river stalking the big rainbows.

Please practice "catch and release"
edit on 27-10-2015 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:13 PM
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Brilliant marketing plan


optoutside.rei.com...



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:13 PM
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originally posted by: olaru12
a reply to: MystikMushroom
I wonder why they call it "Black" Friday?


Supposedly it was a day that companies could get out of the red and into the black or profit territory but I don't believe those lies anymore.

As for Mystik's last post...it is spot on.





posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:14 PM
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Good for them, I'm not too sure how their black friday is but hopefully it would have been nothing like Wal-marts where people get trampled.

I really wish our store would follow suit ( Walgreens ). We are essentially open every day and even when the snow storm hit we had to open. Even though I'm 3 hours away from my parents and everyone else's lives close by it still would be nice to at least close our doors once.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Can't argue with that.

Local co-ops are fantastic; The employees are helpful and knowledgeable. It's one thing to buy something because it's half price, knowing what you are buying is another thing.

Living near the sea, the local fisherman always go for the local co-op. The store hands know the right bait, the right line and the right reel and will point you in the right direction. You won't get that kind of personal service and knowledge from a black friday sale.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:26 PM
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a reply to: MystiqueAgent



And I've been one of those stupid customers on a holiday at Walgreens.

Wake up on Christmas morning, realize we don't have anything to eat for breakfast and I forgot to get something the day before. What's open? Nothing....except Walgreens!

Yeah, I was that guy running into Walgreens on Christmas morning buying Jimmy Dean breakfast bowls to feed myself and my girl because I was to stupid to remember to buy food the night before. I really felt for those guys in there -- and I even left my gloves at the check out register. I had to come back AGAIN later on my way to my family's house for Christmas dinner.

I felt really bad going BACK, but the guy was cool and kept my gloves safe for me after I called and asked if they had them.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:29 PM
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You know, with "Cyber Monday" -- do we really need to be lining up and trampling one another? Can't we just slug it out online via our web browsers for killer deals? Why not let people have time with family on Thanksgiving evening, instead of having to report for work due to early opening hours?

Is "stuff" really that important to us? Is giving someone a Blu-Ray player really the only way to say "I love you"?

I think Americans really need to re-prioritize what's important. It seems we've allowed the people selling us the crap to tell us what is important in life...their products.
edit on 27-10-2015 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:31 PM
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Rampant consumerism. I stopped going to black friday decades ago. I applaud REI and it is actually a good marketing campaign. Something tells me though the typical REI customer has nothing in common with the typical black friday shopper.

With that said, if a business wants to be open on Black Friday, more power to them.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:34 PM
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originally posted by: Edumakated
Rampant consumerism. I stopped going to black friday decades ago. I applaud REI and it is actually a good marketing campaign. Something tells me though the typical REI customer has nothing in common with the typical black friday shopper.

With that said, if a business wants to be open on Black Friday, more power to them.


No, they really don't -- but they're a well known company in the communities they operate in.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:40 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

See in that regards I was "okay" with it, when I lived in Ohio we had a lot of people who didn't have money to eat until that day ( like some college kids ). So they came in and got food. I was alright with people at least fulfilling that need even had some of them come in just because they didn't want to be alone which I was okay with. By no means do I like being open but at times I can see it being alright I just don't understand why our pharmacy isn't open if our FE is going to be open it just doesn't make sense to me. While I am learning some RX stuff I can't really advise people what to take for this or that.

Also with Amazon and Cyber Monday foot traffic hasn't changed all that much especially in my old town. People were lined up all around Toys R' Us and waited to get in. Even K-Mart was packed when we had it. I'm sure foot traffic is down considerably but since they are still getting more business than the norm it makes sense for them to stay open rather than close. The most they would probably do is just change the hours.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:42 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Great news, and finally some honor in this mad consumer culture. REI gets my business infrequently whenever I need to update certain bits of my outdoor gear, but this stand for decency will earn them a a nod more often if the need arise.
Thank you for the post.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 12:46 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

GREAT idea! Not that go anywhere on Black Friday (or on any day between Thanksgiving and New Years, unless it's at 6 in the morning). I'm a firm believer in avoiding the insanity of the consumerism frenzy that people call "the Holiday Season"...



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 01:09 PM
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This company really sticks to its mission statement.

I am really not trying to go off topic but in the movie Wild, that was based off a book. This company provides some of the original props from the 80a that they had in storage. So when you see Reese Witherspoon hiking most of those REI are the real deal.

I enjoy both the outdoors and the excitement of all the people in the mall. So while I think this is a great message to be sending I personally will probably be doing a little bit of both outdoors and mall.

edit on 27-10-2015 by Iamthatbish because: wrong movie name



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 01:44 PM
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I worked at REI for 13 years and can attest that the company tries really hard to maintain balance in all things - the communities they are a part of, the environment, their employees. During my time I saw all sorts of ups and downs. But this seems like an awesome way to set a new standard in a profit driven world. I'll make a point to shop there this holiday season.

Interesting tidbit, REI is a consumer co-op and shares profits with the members.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 01:57 PM
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a reply to: raedar

Yup, and their "store brand" stuff isn't half bad. I had an original Half-Dome tent that I used year-round in Alaska. Even in the winter with 5' of snow and -20F temps, that little tend did well. I took it over the Chilkoot Pass, and floated some rivers in the back country with it.

They don't work on commission...I remember trying out mountaineering boots one day at REI, and it took me FOREVER to decide. The guy helping me was cool and let me test a few pairs out and take my time. There wasn't any pressure on me at all, and he told me about what he wears, how he uses what he has, what his friends have ect...it made it a lot easier to get the *right* boot, as when you're 200+ miles from a civilization, your boots can save your life.

I also got my pack from REI. I originally had purchased a Gregory pack. I went back to REI a week later for something else and noticed an Arc'Tyerx pack that was bigger on sale for the price of the Gregory I just bought. They let me exchange it, no questions asked.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 02:07 PM
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My local store is hiring and I just got inspired to apply for a seasonal gig.


They give amazing discounts to the employees so that they will buy and use the gear and be able to truly help customers get what is right for them.

Such a great place!



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