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News for January 22, 2022

REI Continues #OptOutside Campaign For 7th Year In A Row

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REI Co-op might be having a slow sales year because of store closures this spring after Covid-19 struck. However, REI Co-op isn’t planning to stop its long-standing tradition of requesting customers and employees to go out in the sun on the most crowded holiday shopping day of the year, a report said.

The outdoor retailer based in Seattle recently revealed that it will close more than 170 sites, which include stores, activity centers, distribution centers, call centers, and its headquarters on Black Friday and Thanksgiving (November 25 and 26). This is in line with their annual #OptOutside campaign. 

It’s the seventh time in a row the co-op skips on making profits and sales on the most popular holiday shopping day of the year. Yet, it still pays its more than 15,000 employees.

“As the last year and a half has continued to challenge us all, #OptOutside is a reminder of the importance of community and time outside,” said REI CEO Eric Artz. “What started as a special moment for employees has become a movement for the co-op community to come together and prioritize action on the things that matter most.”

REI started encouraging its clients and staff to “opt outside” on Black Friday in 2015. It was one of the reasons for the company’s “desire to inspire REI employees, its 20 million members nationwide, and broader society to celebrate the power of time outside and reject the mass consumption and stress that comes with Black Friday,” the co-op said in a release.

The decision to shut down the doors on both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday aligns with REI‘s newly created Cooperative Action Fund, which is a 501(c)3 charity that makes grants to help “nonprofit organizations promoting justice, equity and belonging in the outdoors.”

REI is opening the fund with a capital of $1 million to aid 19 nonprofits. As the contributions pile up as time passes, it will”scale [that] investment accordingly.” And, the co-op added last week, “Through #OptOutside, REI will be highlighting the fund’s inaugural set of grantees and inspiring the broader community to participate.”

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Modern Campground

Modern Campground

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