Over the past times span of years, outdoor gear retailer REI has started a novel tradition that has turned into a full-blown movement. In both 2015 too 2016, the fellowship elected to closed all of its stores too website on Black Fri – ane of the busiest shopping days of the twelvemonth – to encourage its employees too customers to instruct exterior instead. This year, they’re doing it in ane lawsuit again, too they’re launching a novel tool that volition brand the #OptOutside sense fifty-fifty better.
Later this month, precisely inwards fourth dimension for the Thanksgiving vacation weekend hither inwards the States, REI volition launch an experiential search engine on its website that volition instruct inwards easier than e’er to notice novel places to explore. A preview of this search engine is already available, but when it goes alive inwards a few week’s fourth dimension it volition allow visitors to the site to meet realtime Instagram posts from those who are using the #OptOutside hashtag. But inwards add-on to only displaying those photos, the search engine volition also automatically add together information nearly a trail beingness hiked, including where it is located, directions to the trail head, tips for hiking it, too more. This turns the commons social networking sense into a to a greater extent than useful tool for outdoor enthusiasts.
When the #OptOutside even commencement broke a span of years back, at that topographic point were around cynical folks who felt that it was precisely a publicity stunt from the administration squad at REI, too they gained far to a greater extent than attending for the ploy than whatever advertising dollars could e’er buy. That may endure true, but the fellowship has stuck amongst this plan too continues to grow it each year. This isn’t precisely around marketing stunt, but something that the retailer genuinely believes in, which is why it continues to stand upward past times the policy too grow the sense each year.
This year, all 151 of REI’s stores volition endure closed, every bit volition its website. No sales volition endure made on what is ofttimes a make-or-break 24-hour interval for retailer outlets. While many Americans volition endure battling each other to instruct the best deals possible, REI’s 12,000 employees volition all instruct a paid 24-hour interval off. I intend that remains a nifty story, too deserving of a salute. I know I’ll #OptOutside in ane lawsuit again this year.