How REI Wins Black Friday


Weekly Loop #22

How REI Wins Black Friday

Note: Happy Thanksgiving. This week’s issue is one day early to avoid the Thanksgiving holiday. 

For the third year in a row, REI is closing their stores on Black Friday and encouraging others to join them in their #OptOutside campaign.

a movement for people to reconnect outdoors over the holidays. We closed on one of the most popular shopping days of the year, paid our 12,000+ employees to spend time outside, and invited America to join us. The response was overwhelmingly positive. More than 1.4 million people and 170 organizations chose to #OptOutside.

The campaign has gained a lot of attention over the last few years, particularly because it seems so counter-intuitive for a retailer to close on one of the busiest days of the year.

Of course, not everyone thinks of the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday”, a day that has grown immensely in commercialism since the days the term was first used 30 years ago. With REI’s core audience, taking a stand against that commercialism makes the brand even more appealing.

Their core customers, the ones that matter most, look to spend free time outdoors – and they’re happy to forego store visits for a good outdoor day. It’s unlikely those customers will choose to spend their money with another retailer. Instead they’ll either shift their spending to another day – or shop online, which of course is still open.

Beyond winning the goodwill of customers, REI generates a lot of free press via articles, plenty of backlinks, and increased traffic to their online black friday page – all from a non-event. Not a bad tradeoff at all!

At a time when many physical retailers are closing their stores, REI has thrived despite closing on Black Fridays. Brand building – and help make it a win. 


Recommended Links


Each week, we share articles, blog posts, videos, infographics, books and more related to ecommerce. 

Have a suggestion of something to include? Leave a comment below or contact us!



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Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) + CRO
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What prompted me to look beyond A/B testing?
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Seth Godin | Seth Godin’s Blog on marketing, tribes and respect

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  7. Photo by Jamie Brown on Unsplash

Andrew @ EcomLoop
Are you looking to start or grow a standalone ecommerce shop? I help independent businesses achieve success on the Shopify and WooCommerce platforms. As the owner of multiple ecommerce businesses, I've had the opportunity to get experience with nearly every aspect of the ecommerce industry. I started EcomLoop to help other quality independent businesses using my knowledge and experience. To stay on top of new ecommerce developments, I publish The EcomLoop Weekly Loop, a blog and email newsletter with original thoughts and curated links to help independent businesses improve their businesses.