Wither Black Friday?

The outdoor recreational retailer REI has gone public with the decision to close their stores on Black Friday this year to encourage both associates and customers to go play outside on that day.  #OptOutside

I think this is a brilliant idea for a couple of reasons:

  1. Recognizes that shopping doesn’t need to occur in a physical store anymore. Even “lowest prices” are available on-line now.
  2. Highlights REI as a business in touch with their customer base and associates.
  3. Generates employee goodwill.
  4. Touches on the rise of “experiences” trumping material gifts.  What better way to burn off those turkey legs and extra stuffing than to take a hike with family and friends?  Have some memorable conversations with folks you don’t get to see often.  Or escape from folks you see too much.
  5. They don’t suggest a boycott of shopping or anything negative about Black Friday, but they open up an alternative.

We’re just at the threshold of Halloween, but I like the thought of both Halloween and Thanksgiving as holidays unto themselves and not as the bellwether and gateway to a season of mass consumption.   So I tip my woolly beanie to REI and will plan to spend some time in Nature on November 27, 2015.  I’ll be packing some leftover pie and cranberry sauce with me if you care to come along.


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