Black Friday is perhaps one of the most largest shopping events all year, and, is growing from just the US to expand to places like New Zealand and Panama. Why would a store decide not to participate in this giant opportunity for sales?
In case you didn’t know, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. In a lot of people’s minds, after Thanksgiving comes Christmas, and with Christmas, comes presents. With presents, comes shopping for them. Since 1932, (in the height of the Great Depression) it has been known as the point when profits turn for stores and they go from “the red” (when they may be failing), to “the black” (when they are doing better).
On Black Friday, there are tremendous sales. Some stores have gone the length to open on Thanksgiving, and have Pre-Black-Friday sales. People stand in long lines on Thanksgiving and even the Wednesday before, just to get that new TV, iPad or Chromebook.
From Black Friday, Cyber Monday, has emerged. Online, the Monday after Thanksgiving, many stores have started sales online as well. In some cases, there are also Pre-Cyber Monday Sales as well.
One store, REI (Recreation Equipment Incorporated), has decided to put a stop to all of this palooza. They have decided to shut down all 149 of their stores for Black Friday, including their online website. This is a very bold move for the store, considering all of the sales they would be losing. But this isn’t for show or attention. It is for something else.
REI is an outdoor adventure store. They sell everything from camping supplies to clothing and food. That being said, it would make sense that they would be closing for the outdoors. Yes, that’s right. REI is paying their workers on Black Friday to go outside, and have fun with their families. (And get off their electronics)
If you go to your local REI store, they are giving out posters, magnets and stickers, encouraging people to spend the day outside instead of shopping. One of the posters included reads: “Will You Go Out with Me?”. As in, will you go outside with me. The goal is for people to go outside with the poster, take a picture and #OptOutside.
This is a creative way for the store to get people to go outside. It’s no wonder, since they are a store that sells things for the outdoors. It will be interesting if any other stores begin to do this. You might ask: “Well, they could do this and still have their stores open.” Well, it doesn’t exactly follow the motto and point of the whole idea. How could you #OptOutside if you are really inside, whether you are the customer or the staff. Go ahead, just do it.
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