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REI Will #OptOutside on Black Friday. Can It Change Retail (and the Economy)?


REI Will #OptOutside on Black Friday. Can It Change Retail (and the Economy)?

Parag Rajendra Khandhar

I don’t have a family history of hiking or camping. My parents didn’t have that experience growing up in Gujarat, India.

All 143 REI stores will be closed on Black Friday.

So when I was younger, the most I knew of Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) was that it was some kind of competitor to Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS). That’s the extent of it. And it would have remained that way, but for a turn in my career a number of years ago.


Typical REI shoppers were never the Black Friday ninja warriors to begin with. No, they would rather be testing their pitons on the side of a cliff or curling into an eddy to scout a class IV rapid below. Great store, though. I always make time to visit when I am in a location that has one. Good recommendations on additional actions they can take to extend their social example.


Great ideas. Are you listening, REI Co-op?


This REI story reminds me of a recent movie about the kidnapping of the billionaire founder of Heineken beer portrayed by Anthony Hopkins. He tells his kidnappers, "you can have a lot of money or you can have a lot of friends, but you can't have both".