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'If you're open on Thanksgiving, it's hard not to pitch yourself as a greedy bastard': REI's CEO reveals why closing on Black Friday is a smart business move

'If you're open on Thanksgiving, it's hard not to pitch yourself as a greedy bastard': REI's CEO reveals why closing on Black Friday is a smart business move
REI



REI will close all of its stores on Black Friday, a definitive departure from retailers like Walmart and Target that kick off Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day.




CEO Jerry Stritzke told Business Insider that closing on Black Friday is the right ethical decision and a smart business move, even as competitors open earlier.




"If you're open on Thanksgiving, it's hard not to pitch yourself as a greedy bastard," Stritzke said.



As REI plans to shut its doors for another Black Friday, its CEO says that the movement to close on Thanksgiving and the following day is gaining steam.
"It's the right ethical move. It's the right business move," CEO Jerry Stritzke told Business Insider. "I think retail for brands is about community. ... The ability for a brand to meet these primal, important needs that serve as a basis of community is phenomenally powerful and a unique competitive position."
Stritzke says that when REI first closed down all of its stores on Black Friday in 2015, it was seen as a risky decision. At the time, major retailers like Walmart and Target were increasingly moving to open stores earlier on Thanksgiving Day, not close them down for 48 hours.
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