Outdoor retailer REI says it is shuttering the shop this Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, and urging its customers to #OptOutside. It’s even extending the holiday to e-commerce, and says it intends to feature a black takeover screen on its site, encouraging customers to get outdoors with friends and family. Experts say that it’s just the latest example of Americans growing increasingly blasé about retailers’ relentless hype leading up to Thanksgiving weekend.
REI, which is the nation’s largest co-op, says it sent a letter to its 5.5 million members, explaining that it intends to pay all 12,000 of its employees to skip the mall and head to the mountains instead, using a social media campaign to encourage them to share their outdoor adventures. (A dedicated Web site offers recommended hikes.)