Every time around this year, I begin to develop a growing feeling of excitement as each day passes. November marks the first real feeling of fall, it’s the start of some of the best holidays we get all year, and it’s a time of coming together. Unfortunately, this year has been a little different.
Maybe it’s the fact that it’s November 3rd and I still have to wear shorts because the high is 80°F every day. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been taking my multi-vitamins. MAYBE it’s the absolute madness that is #election2016 that’s dragging down my spirits… Whatever it is, a lot of people are feeling the same way. And that could be a big problem for businesses as they struggle to engage with consumers in a more meaningful way this holiday season.
Brick and mortar Black Friday sales are on an unfortunate decline. From just 2014 to 2015, they fell 1.2 Billion dollars, according to ShopperTrak. And it’s only predicted to hurt even more this year.
Enter REI. Recreational Equipment, Inc. An American outdoor recreation retail cooperative corporation that specializes in “outfitting members for a lifetime of adventure”. With higher end products and not-so-special Black Friday specials in the past, this company wasn’t really ever that into the whole Black Friday concept anyways. Last year, however, REI decided they weren’t going to play the same game as everyone else. Making a major decision to take a stance, the company announced a huge marketing campaign before Thankgiving 2015 called ‘Opt Outside’. On Black Friday, REI shut it doors, paid it’s employees to go outside, and encouraged its members to do the same instead of spending their holiday time waiting in lines and busting down doors for sales.