Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
REI announced that their stores will be closed the day after Thanksgiving, claiming that they want their employees to get outdoors. I sort of suspect that the real purpose is some free advertising, but perhaps I'm becoming a grumpy old lady?
Actually, I never shop the day after Thanksgiving--I hate crowds. Should the weather not be too bad (although late November here often has the wettest weather of the year), I might even go hiking!
Even if the purpose is advertising, it's a nice idea. I wonder how many REI employees will be out doing their own shopping?
Edited by OregonMouse (10/27/1508:21 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Exactly - not only are they closing, but they are considering it a paid holiday. Regardless of any potential ulterior motives, that's a class act in my book. I already give them my business, this move just hardens my resolve to shop there more. As though I needed an excuse!
Did you know that 83.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?
Loc: Portland, OR
Corporations (even when they are called co-ops, as REI still calls itself) aren't noted for altruism. If REI does a good thing for its employees in the expectation that this will improve its reputation and gain favorable publicity, then I won't quibble over its 'selfish' ulterior motive, any more than the pastor inquires whether an overly generous contribution on the collection plate was given from a bad conscience.
I doubt that it's altruism. Business entities don't have emotions. It's probably a mixture of things that makes it a good idea: the free publicity (which includes a chance to differentiate themselves from other "outdoor stores," by highlighting the get-outdoors message), perhaps an attempt to lower some type of cost (error rates, out-of-stock, later returns, or whatever) that results from sales compression, and possibly part of a larger employee-engagement process (better working conditions, etc.) that will ultimately improve sales and profits.
But whatever the motive, hurray for REI putting their money where their mouth is!
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
OM, I'm with you.
I applaud REI, and think the fact that this is so rare now is really what drives the potential to get free publicity for this.
They may indeed have realized they can take advantage of this policy and may have even worked to project the numbers. That would've been a smart move and if they did they probably found it's not a very risky bet. Could even make them money.
A few years ago people on my Facebook feed started saying they'd not shop at all at stores that were open on T-Day or Black Friday, and I've seen that trend fast grow since. I've already seen it this year. I'm sure REI has seen that too. All the big retailers should be aware of this and understand the downside potential they face by promoting "Deals" on a traditional family holiday.
It's a marketing ploy that worked for awhile, but we all lost something much more valuable than we got by allowing them to lure us away from time spent with family and friends.
Hopefully, we'll see this skeezy trend fade away as fast as it started.