Shop, no. Hike, yes.

Hats off to REI, which announced this week that it will close all its stores on Black Friday and give workers a paid day off to enjoy the outdoors we love and strive to protect.  One of the co-op’s core values is authenticity — walking its talk — and I am proud to be among its employees, who received the e-mail below from CEO Jerry Stritzke on Monday.

Please join us in boycotting the consumerism-run-rampant that characterizes Black Friday;  instead, get outside to appreciate a gift beyond measure:  the natural world, and all who inhabit it.


“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home.” -John Muir, in 1901

Our founders, Mary and Lloyd, understood deeply that life is better
when the outdoors is an integral part of it. Seventy-six years later,
we capture that idea with the words: “we believe a life outdoors is
a life well-lived.”

Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of this essential truth and so today I’m honored to share, on behalf of the co-op’sleaders and our board, that we’ve chosen to take a bold action by closing our 143 stores, our distribution centers and our headquartersfor the day.

Instead of reporting to work on Black Friday, we’ll be paying all of you to do what you love most—being outside with friends and family.While everyone else is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be heading into the great outdoors. And we want the world to join us.

Beginning tomorrow, we’ll be inviting people to #OptOutside from
coast to coast. They can visit to discover how
to take part. As REI employees, you inspire and guide our members
each day. You have the choice to spend the day wherever you want
and with whomever you want, but I encourage you to spend
some of it breathing fresh air with your friends and family, as
I plan to.

We’re fortunate to be a co-op, because it gives us the independence to make decisions—like this one—that put our beliefs into action.Tomorrow we’ll share all the details you need, but for now let me just say thank you for all you do each day to make REI a unique organization to be a part of.

Let’s get people out there,






  1. Susan Lukwago · · Reply

    Have never understood Black Friday … and it is not about being a non-native. Salute to REI and all other businesses that encourage being outside on that day. Thank you for bringing it to our attention Cate.


    1. Thanks for reading, friend.


  2. Not that we ever HAVE shopped on Black Friday, but I’m glad more people are starting to awaken to the foolishness of buying so much for the rich when so many have so very little and are happier for it! And we’re running a race on Saturday morning too : )


    1. My hero(ine)!:) As I get older, I better appreciate the incredible lightness of being without so much stuff. Better all the way around.


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