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REI Won’t Open On Black Friday

Forget about the Thanksgiving backlash; REI is taking things a step further by closing its stores on Black Friday.

The outdoor retailer said it will close all 143 of its retail locations, headquarters and two distribution centers on Black Friday, providing employees with a paid day off. It is also encouraging others to follow suit as part of an #OptOutside campaign “to reconnect with family and friends this Thanksgiving holiday.”

Said Jerry Stritzke, president and CEO: “Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the essential truth that life is richer, more connected and complete when you choose to spend it outside. We’re closing our doors, paying our employees to get out there, and inviting America to OptOutside with us because we love great gear, but we are even more passionate about the experiences it unlocks.”

 Consumers will still be able to make purchases online, a company customer service rep told us, but the site will feature a black screen on its website urging consumers to #OptOutside.