Yesterday, REI sent out an e-mail to its members regarding Black Friday shopping. Here it is:

This Black Friday the co-op is doing something different. We’re closing all 143 of our stores. Instead of reporting to work, we’re paying our employees to do what we love most—be outside.

We want you, our members, to be the first to hear—not just what we’re doing, but why.

We’re passionate about bringing you great gear, but we’re even more passionate about the experiences it unlocks for all of us. Perhaps John Muir said it best back in 1901: ‘thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home.’

We think Black Friday is the perfect day to remind people of this essential truth.

And don’t worry, as a member you’ll still enjoy great deals on great gear all holiday season long. But on this one day, we’re going to #OptOutside and we want you to join us.

While the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we hope to see you in the great outdoors. Visit and you’ll discover great ways to #OptOutside from coast to coast.

Let’s get out there,

P.S. If you have friends you want to encourage to #OptOutside, please pass along this invitation. You can also visit to customize your own Black Friday message and share it via social media. There’s plenty of room out there for all of us.

For quite a while, we’ve been arguing that the danger with the market and the constant need to compete is that nothing remains sacred, especially your time. A perfect example is the vanishing Sunday rest.

If we want to restore family and community, as a culture we must defend those times that are set aside for them. Workers are not always in a position to do so. Do you lose your job or go to work? Whether we like it or not, business leaders ultimately must make the decision. And if they sense that the culture demands protections for traditional times for family and rest, they will change.

It’s nice to see a large corporation lead the way with the right choice for both its employees and customers.


(Images: Wikipedia,