Outdoor apparel retailer Recreational Equipment Inc., better known as REI, is opting out of the Black Friday madness this year.
Instead, it will close all 143 of its stores across the U.S. the day after Thanksgiving. REI operates two stores in Charlotte, in the Northlake Mall and Carolina Place Mall areas.
The retailer said this week it will pay employees instead “to do what we love most – be outside” on Nov. 27.
“We’re passionate about bringing you great gear, but we’re even more passionate about the experiences it unlocks for all of us,” the retailer said in a memo this week.
Washington-based REI is also launching a social media campaign encouraging shoppers to share photos of their plans outdoors by using the hashtag #OptOutside.
The National Retail Federation said fewer people shopped over Thanksgiving weekend last year due to early discounts, more online shopping and a mixed economy.
The Associated Press contributed.