REI announced this week that for the second year in a row, it would keep its doors closed on Black Friday.


One of the key shopping days of the year, Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving when retailers across the country draw masses of consumers through special sales. With retailers opening up at 5am or earlier and crowds of consumers lining up for doorbuster deals hours before stores even open, some have argued that Black Friday traditions disrupt family gatherings and are counterintuitive to the spirit of the holidays.


Some big box retailers, REI being the most prominent name, have decided to keep their doors closed for Black Friday – an idea that may pay off for these businesses in the long run.


Encouraging its consumers to instead go outside and enjoy the outdoors, REI will be closing all 149 stores, suspending all online sales, and paying all employees to take Black Friday off. Expanding on its wildly successful #OptOutside campaign which REI began last year, this year REI has enlisted 275 other organizations including Subaru of America, Google, and the National Park Service to join its movement and encourage people to simply choose to be outdoors and physically active on the day after Thanksgiving.


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“To opt is to choose. Outside over inside.Adventures over things.
This Black Friday, REI is closing to #OptOutside again.”




Meanwhile, in response to the trend of some Black Friday promotions starting on Thanksgiving Day itself, some retailers (Nordstrom, Home Depot, and Costco to name just a few) are keeping their doors closed on Thanksgiving Day to allow their employees to celebrate with their family and encourage their consumers to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive.


Macy’s announced this week that it will be opening earlier than ever on Thanksgiving Day to start its Black Friday sales. And while many other businesses have yet to state their hours or whether they will be open on Thanksgiving Day and/or Black Friday, these decisions and the topic of Black Friday itself will undoubtedly shape the future of retailers.