REI’s Black Friday gambit: Will closing its stores woo consumers?

The outdoor gear retailer will keep its doors shut on the high-volume shopping day in the hope that its target audience will appreciate the ‘authentic’ gesture.

For REI, “Black Friday” won’t describe a shopping frenzy, but rather its stores’ windows.

In a bold move to be “authentic” during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, all 143 REI stores will be closed Nov. 27.

The company, which sells camping gear and other outdoorsy wares, encouraged its employees and customers to spend time in nature. It created a microsite where people can type in their ZIP code and find a nearby trail to hike.

The company explained its decision in an email to customers:

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