Retailer REI opts out of Black Friday

Mouna Algahaithi, News Editor

Planning on buying discounted hiking boots or a backpacker’s bag from REI this Black Friday? Think again. REI has decided to not participate in Black Friday madness this November 27.

Black Friday is a consumer’s dream-come-true, occurring annually after Thanksgiving Day to mark the first day of Christmas shopping, with retailers offering heavily discounted items.

The country’s biggest consumer co-op has decided to pay its 12,000 full-time and part-time employees to opt out, creating the #optout movement, which encourages people to spend time outdoors with their loved ones this holiday instead of behind shopping carts.

REI CEO Jerry Stritzke said in an REI news release that Black Friday has gone too far. “We’re closing our doors, paying our employees to get out there, and inviting America to “OptOutside” with us because we love great gear, but we are even more passionate about the experiences it unlocks.”
In addition to closed doors, the REI website will have a blackout screen, featuring it’s #OPTOUT hashtag.

In the past, videos emerged of sleep-deprived consumers pepper-spraying other shoppers, or even stampeding others, including pregnant women and children. Apparently, $2 waffle makers really bring out the worst in people.

REI is among the list of several retailers who have decided to opt out, including Half-Priced Books, Costco, Staples, and Gamestop.

Patrick Kempfer, a student at Madison College, was more than willing to voice his opinion on Black Friday. “Personally, I have never felt the need to indulge in the overindulgence of impertinent, irrelevant, and otherwise futile escapades, but hey, to each their own.”

Kempfer explains that, “For as far back as I can remember, Black Friday has always been best represented as a day of indulgence, one that requires consumers to resort to their primal urges, and engage in a guerrilla warfare for material possessions. It is likely the sickest example of consumerism known to modern society, or, perhaps the best, depending on your perspective.”

“Over the last few years, more and more of my friends have been disengaging from the consumerist parade of Black Friday, and now I am hearing of businesses doing the same. Whether businesses, these nests of capitalism, are breaking free from the tree of corporate driven America because of ethical reasons, political correctness, or just plain laziness is unimportant to me.”

“What is important is that consumers begin to understand the ridiculousness of venturing out into the many stores and malls to step over whomever in what may be described as the worst example of humanity, just hours after they sat with their families and friends, spouting praise for the things they have been given.
It may not be all that ironic, actually, if you consider the true history of Thanksgiving. There are similarities between a people raping and pillaging their way through the New World and kicking a stranger in the face in a Best Buy parking lot just to get your hands on a brand new X-Box.”

The total list of known retailers who will be opting out of Black Friday madness is below: Staples, GameStop, Costco, BJ’s, Nordstrom, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Barnes and Noble, DSW, Pier 1 Imports, Crate and Barrel, Burlington Coat Factory, Patagonia, Sur La Table, Jo-Ann Stores, A.C. Moore, Sierra Trading Post, Harbor Freight, At Home, Von Maur, Mattress Firm, and Half-Price Books, according to