On Black Friday this year, outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI is putting its money where its motto is.
The store that touts its dedication to “inspiring, educating, and outfitting” its customers and community to explore nature is staying closed on one of the nation’s busiest shopping days and will pay its employees to spend the day outdoors instead.
In an email sent to members on Monday, the company, which operates as a co-op, announced that it’s closing all 143 of its stores on Black Friday. “Instead of reporting to work, we’re paying our employees to do what we love most—be outside,” the email says. (Stores will stay closed on Thanksgiving too, according to REI’s website.) The company reassured its members that they will still get deals during the holiday season. On Black Friday last year, REI offered 50% off select items like hiking socks and lower discounts on wearables, clothing, and backpacks.
In its email Monday, the Seattle-based retailer said it wants its employees and the wider public to use Black Friday as an opportunity to discover nature’s restorative power. “While the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we hope to see you in the great outdoors.”
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