REI stores to close Black Friday to encourage family time

REI stores will close Black Friday to promote family time.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– The Sawmill Road Recreational Equipment Inc. store in Dublin, along with 142 other REI stores nationwide will close on Black Friday. The company is taking advantage of the frenzied shopping the day after Thanksgiving, to instead encourage people to enjoy the outdoors.

“I have a lot of respect for this store appreciating people instead of consumers,” said Michelle Fuertes, she was shopping in the Sawmill Road store. “I think it is a great idea. Any opportunity people have to get outside and enjoy the weather and get some exercise; I think that is a great idea.”

REI calls it hashtag, #Optoutside, and is encouraging people to enjoying exercise, the outdoors and family, then post their experience.

“I just think it will hurt their business. At the end of the day Black Friday is great for customers and it gets you into the holiday spirit,” Chrystal Owens said. She loves shopping on Black Friday.

“If they are willing to do that to lose the money and take the hit on that and take a stand on that situation, I am all for that.” Jeromy Searls does not shop on Black Friday, but likes the idea.

REI’s CEO says employees will also get paid day off with their families.

“Particularly I think Black Friday outside with your family and to enjoy the outdoors is really special and we just, it is something we are passionate about and we are taking advantage of this opportunity to do that,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI Co-op CEO.

There are 30 days before folks need to decide whether to shop or Optoutside.

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