WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Get out: REI pays employees not to work on Black Friday

Posted October 27, 2015 11:54 a.m. EDT
Updated July 12, 2018 2:14 p.m. EDT

REI, the specialty outdoor retailer, closes on Thanksgiving Day every year, but this year they are giving their employees an amazing gift on Black Friday.

REI will be closed on Black Friday 2015 and they are giving their employees the day off WITH PAY! The co-op is paying its 12,000 employees to go outside and enjoy the day!

You will still be able to order online, but they are not going to be having any special Black Friday deals.

In their press release, Jerry Stritzke, president and CEO of REI, said, “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.”

I love this! Yes, I know my job is to share all the great deals on Black Friday, but quite frankly, this event has gotten out of hand. Every year the stores open earlier and earlier including many who are open on Thanksgiving Day. For the record, I think it's awful that retailers are open on Thanksgiving Day and I wish the holiday was still reserved for giving thanks with those we love. I worked retail for many years and I was always so grateful that I had the whole day off on Thanksgiving to spend with my family.

Head to optoutside.rei.com to enter your zip code to find some of the hiking trails in your area. And guess what? It's FREE to hike!

Kudos to REI for taking care of their employees and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. We may just head to the park on Black Friday this year.

What do you think? Did REI make the right choice? Does it influence whether you will shop there more or less during the holidays this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section.