Just yesterday, REI announced that, for the first time, they would be closing all 143 of their stores on Black Friday this year.
“While the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we hope to see you in the great outdoors.” – REI
This is either a great marketing ploy or a genuine message from REI to get you and their employees outside.
This very much resembles Patagonia’s genius marketing strategy a few Black Fridays ago, stating:
“Don’t buy this jacket.” – Patagonia
This ad and strategy by Patagonia ended up being hugely successful for them and led to an increase in holiday sales in 2011.
So, which is it, REI? Brilliant marketing scheme or genuine attempt to get you outside? Most likely the former, but you can give them the benefit of the doubt and say it’s a little of both.
REI isn’t exactly here to ‘get you outside’; they’re here to sell you retail items, and since it’s currently the holiday season, where nearly all retailers make the majority of their sales, this maneuver makes a lot of sense.
REI is doing very well, experiencing solid growth in the past two years.
“This is our 2nd year of double-digit growth” – REI CEO Jerry Stritzke yesterday
If you’re an REI employee, this is excellent news. REI will be closed for both Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year. Get out there and take advantage of it.