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The Associated Press reports that sporting goods retailer REI will once again this year remain closed on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that marks the traditional beginning of the end-of-year holiday shopping season.

And, once again, the company will again "pay employees for the day off in a campaign that encourages people to spend time outdoors." The only way you'll be able to shop at REI on Black Friday is online, though no orders will actually be processed that day.

The story quotes CEO Jerry Stritzke as saying that "the company's move last year, which it dubbed #OptOutside, gained momentum on social media from various outdoor groups. He said he saw more than 20,000 social media posts from REI's 12,000 employees. Many had their first Black Friday off in more than 20 years, he said."

And REI, "which has 149 stories, is now working with more than 200 organizations from the nonprofit, private and public sectors, including the National Parks Service, to push the idea," AP reports.
KC's View:
This is about leading with values ... and another example of purpose-driven marketing. REI knows who its customers are, and knows that they will respond positively to this approach. It certainly makes me want to shop there.