Outdoor retailer REI is taking a step further than other retailers in preserving employee holiday time.
Yesterday's announcement that REI will be closed on Black Friday follows in the footsteps of Patagonia, which encouraged shoppers not to buy items the day after Thanksgiving, and a slew of retailers that choose to stay closed during the holiday.
Jerry Stritzke, president and CEO of REI, told ABC News that Black Friday is one of the retailer's top 10 sales days. "We will miss those sales," he admitted. But the company still decided to close all 143 stores on the biggest shopping day of the year.
Stritzke said “anxiety” about longer store hours was one reason that led to this decision, along with a goal of encouraging employees to do something outdoors with their families. He said “there were some tears” when employees learned they would be able to spend Thanksgiving and the following day with their families as paid holidays.
Stritzke said he expects few retailers to follow suit because “it’s hard to leave money on the table.”
Retailers that will be closed on Thanksgiving include GameStop, Ikea, Staples, and P.C. Richard & Son. The industry trend over the past few years has to been to open on the holiday. Macy's, Walmart, Target, J.C. Penney and Kohl's are some of the retailers that will be open on Thanksgiving.