Posted by: theartspj | October 27, 2015

Freebie for Finance: REI Opts for Outside

Yesterday on Facebook I read a post from a friend of mine:

Black Friday is the epitome of how out of control the consumerism and materialism of our society has gotten. I love how REI has decided to promote spending time outdoors and with family and friends by choosing to close its doors on one of its most profitable days of the year. It’s refreshing to see a company whose values are more important to them than the bottom line.

Maybe you’ve seen this on your own timelines? Check out the #OptOutside page on REI’s website with the “spreadable” hashtag, and dramatic countdown defying the gluttony that is Black Friday in America.

This is a brilliant move by REI’s communications team to appeal to consumer emotions, and build goodwill among employee stakeholders (they’re being paid), and consumers. Doesn’t this make you want to shop at REI even more now?

REI is a retail company. Would upper management really just close all of its stores on one of the biggest shopping days of the year out of the goodness of their hearts, without consideration to their bottom line?

REI may not be the retailer of choice for most Americans on Black Friday. Targets, Walmarts, Best Buys, etc. are hot spots, so maybe this move wouldn’t significantly affect their bottom line, except in the long term. Folks, like my friend (who is an employee), will remember that REI opted outside during Thanksgiving, and they’ll give thanks by shopping there in the future.

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