Why REI is Winning Black Friday

When I joined the retail world last year, I was disappointed to leave my family Thanksgiving night to work a 12 hour shift on Black Friday. Over 25 million people have this same issue, working at big box stores that open the night of Thanksgiving and stay open throughout the night and all day Black Friday.

REI, however, is taking a different route.


Announcing they are going to be closed on Thanksgiving day and Black Friday for the third year in a row; their 12,000 employees can actually spend time with their families and “enjoy the outdoors.”

“When you look at retail today, this playbook of promotions and consumerism, it’s not working,”REI Chief executive Jerry Stritzke stated in a Fortune article. “It feels like it’s lost momentum since then.” Stritzke also states that the company is not closing their doors as a marketing strategy because “employees and customers can see through that.”    “You don’t promote your way to love,” Stritzke said. “it’s about being a different kind of company.”

Closing REI’s doors during the kickoff of the holiday season has received positive feedback and strengthened their brand. A campaign even emerged from this move called #OptOutside where people can post their photos of their outdoor adventure.


As discussed in IMC 2, the authenticity of REI’s brand and statement is pretty strong. Few mega companies close their doors on Thanksgiving day, and even fewer on Black Friday. REI not only made this decision to let their employees spend time with their families, but also supporting their brand to enjoy the outdoors. Their two reasonings push them from generic to authentic.


Sources from: http://fortune.com/2017/10/30/rei-blackfriday/

by Taylor Maloch