Just yesterday, REI announced that for the first time, they will 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 very 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 lead 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 benefit of the doubt and say that it’s a little of both.
video of REI’s CEO explaining the Black Friday closure
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 right now, 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 great news. REI will be closed for both Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year. Get out there and take advantage of it.