Every year on Black Friday, stores across the United States post deep discounts to encourage consumers to buy more unnecessary stuff – and every year Americans make a terrible spectacle of themselves. This year, REI says enough is enough. The co-op is shutting every single one of its 143 stores across the country and paying their staff to go outside.
“REI believes that being outside makes our lives better,” the group posted on their website with the hashtag #OptOutside. “That’s why this Black Friday, we’re closing all 143 of our stores and paying our employees to head outside.”
The outdoor gear provider is encouraging other Americans to join their campaign to skip the stores and head for the great outdoors instead. At the time of writing, nearly 262,000 people had already shown their support for the idea.
“For 76 years, our co-op has been dedicated to one thing and one thing only: a life outdoors. We believe that being outside makes our lives better. And Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of this essential truth,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI president and CEO.
“We’re a different kind of company—and while the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be spending our day a little differently. We’re choosing to opt outside, and want you to come with us.”