Black Friday Cured In One Season

My first official experience with Black Friday was nearly 25 years ago. Karen and I had recently moved to Salt Lake City from the North Bay Area of California.

At that period in our life we were on a very limited budget for the holiday season. The solution seemed obvious. Shop on Black Friday.

After all, there was a mall just down the street from where we lived. It all made perfect sense to me… at the time.

Clues Were All Around

My first clue that maybe this wouldn’t be such a great experience were the number of silver-haired ladies standing outside of Mervyn’s checking their watches every few seconds.

Before I knew what happened, I was being bumped into from all sides by little old ladies, some armed with walking canes, making their way through the open doors.

My belief that I could take my time shopping was quickly replaced with the reality of a bunch of wild old ladies who were determined to get all the good stuff before anyone else could.

I managed to buy a few pair of mittens, socks and knit hats. After all, we were in snow country and these were necessities.

As I made my way out to the parking lot I swore I would never shop on Black Friday… ever… again.

Sanity Might Be In Question

A quick look at the evening news on Black Friday makes me question the sanity of some of the people who choose to spend their day this way. Granted, there are great sales, but nowadays, many stores are offering prices that are as good, if not better than Black Friday prices.

“It’s traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year. It kicks off the critical holiday season. The holiday shopping season is crucial for the economy because around 30% of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. For some retailers, such as jewelers, it’s even higher — nearly 40%.” Kimberly Amadeo.

#OptOutside is a Thing

Although millions of people look forward to the craziness (and sales) that come with Black Friday, many people are opting for activities that have absolutely nothing to do with being penned up in a store.

Add to the shopping mix the fact many of us now do a great deal of our shopping online, and it’s an easy choice to do something besides shop…for the general public.

For retailers, it’s a completely different story. They stand to lose substantial revenues by not “playing the game.” And yet, some are willing to take the risk.

REI Makes History And Gains Lots of Support

Take REI –  they made a conscious choice not to participate in the craziness of Black Friday.

“REI will again close its doors and stop online sales on the biggest shopping day of the year, instead encouraging its employees and customers to go enjoy the outdoors. They will process no online sales and will pay close all 149 of its stores on Black Friday, process no online sales and pay all 12,287 employees to take the day off and head outside instead.” Seattle Biz Journal

“As a nation we’re still spending over 90 percent of our lives indoors, and it’s a trend we need to tackle,” REI CEO Jerry Stritzke said in a statement. “Fundamentally we believe that being outside makes us our best selves – healthier and happier, physically and mentally.” Source:

Movements Are About People Pledging to Do Things Differently

runningREI (Recreation Equipment Inc) is starting a movement that millions of individuals are joining in on…myself included. I’ve chosen to run on Black Friday.

If you’ve been looking for a healthy, productive and non-stressful way to enjoy the Friday after Thanksgiving, make the commitment by visiting https://www.rei.com/opt-outside/pledge/create

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