In this March 2006 file photo, Rachel Hartman looks over sea kayaks as she shops for a birthday present for herself at a REI store in Seattle. The outdoor retailer has announced it will buck Black Friday 2015 and close its 143 stores on the day after Thanksgiving. Elaine Thompson AP
In this March 2006 file photo, Rachel Hartman looks over sea kayaks as she shops for a birthday present for herself at a REI store in Seattle. The outdoor retailer has announced it will buck Black Friday 2015 and close its 143 stores on the day after Thanksgiving. Elaine Thompson AP

What's In Store

Surveying the retail landscape in the Charlotte region and beyond

What's In Store

REI opting out of Black Friday madness this year

By Katherine Peralta

kperalta@charlotteobserver.com

October 27, 2015 1:48 PM

Outdoor apparel retailer Recreational Equipment Inc., better known as REI, is opting out of the Black Friday madness this year.

Instead, it will close all 143 of its stores across the U.S. the day after Thanksgiving. REI operates two stores in Charlotte, in the Northlake Mall and Carolina Place Mall areas.

The retailer said this week it will pay employees instead “to do what we love most – be outside” on Nov. 27.

“We’re passionate about bringing you great gear, but we’re even more passionate about the experiences it unlocks for all of us,” the retailer said in a memo this week.

Washington-based REI is also launching a social media campaign encouraging shoppers to share photos of their plans outdoors by using the hashtag #OptOutside.

The National Retail Federation said fewer people shopped over Thanksgiving weekend last year due to early discounts, more online shopping and a mixed economy.

The Associated Press contributed.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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