Black Friday is now a permanent holiday for outdoor retailer REI's 16,000 employees.
REI since 2015 has closed its doors the day after Thanksgiving, and is now making the paid day off one of its employee benefits, the Seattle-based cooperative announced on Thursday.
In first shuttering its doors on the day viewed as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, REI said it wanted to encourage workers and members alike to spend time outside — presumably outfitted with REI gear and clothing — instead of shopping.
The retailer's stores, distribution centers, call centers and headquarters will close every Black Friday. Shoppers can still place orders on REI's website, but the orders won't begin processing until the next day, REI said in its statement.
Owned by customers who buy lifetime memberships, REI operates 178 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Like its competitor Patagonia, it brands itself as a progressive company.
In a like vein, Patagonia has also made a show of bowing out of the Black Friday shopping madness, and no longer runs Black Friday sales, according to a bargain-hunting newsletter, Blacker Friday. It, too, says folks should spend the long weekend outside and not at the mall or in front of their computer screen shopping.
for more features.