Don’t expect major retailers to follow REI’s move to close its stores on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year.
REI, a chain that sells hiking boots, yoga mats and other outdoor and fitness apparel, said this week that it will not open its doors on the day after Thanksgiving. The day, which is called Black Friday, has grown into an American holiday shopping spectacle.
But many other retailers won’t be able to give up Black Friday as easily. Target, Wal-Mart and Macy’s didn’t return requests seeking comment on this story, but industry watchers say big retailers that sell toys, clothes and electronics depend on sales generated during that day.
REI, on the other hand, likely won’t lose many sales as a result. And what the company loses in sales, it will gain in goodwill from its employees and customers, marketing experts say.
“It makes them seem like they are socially responsible and doing the right thing,” says marketing consultant Allen Adamson of BrandSimple Consulting. “Younger consumers are very concerned about how companies behave and treat their employees.”
REI said it will pay its 12,000 employees to take the day off. In addition to closing its 143 stores, it will also close its two distribution centers and Seattle headquarters. It will still take orders online on Black Friday, but those orders won’t be filled until Saturday, says REI’s senior vice president of retailer Tim Spangler.
“We feel that Black Friday has gotten a little out of hand,” says Spangler.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune