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REI to be closed on Black Friday, encouraging employees to go outside

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Posted at 2:46 PM, Oct 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-27 15:57:32-04

As the busiest retail day of the year, Black Friday is make or break for most clothing companies. But one store will be forgoing the profits in order to buck the trend this year.

REI, an outdoor clothing company, will be closing its 143 stores across the country on the day after Thanksgiving in order to give all of its employees the day off. 

REI is encouraging its employees to embrace the company's roots and spend the day outdoors. It's also encouraging consumers across the country to avoid lines and Holiday crowds, and share their outdoor activities using the hashtag #OptOutside. 

"We're a different kind of company—and while the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be spending our day a little differently," REI President and CEO Jerry Strizke wrote on the REI website. "We’re choosing to opt outside, and want you to come with us."

Last year, shoppers spent an estimated $9.1 billion on Black Friday alone, according to a report from CNN. However, REI hopes that developing a connection with its core customers will be more valuable than the profits it can pull in from the day after Thanksgiving.

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Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.