In a time where wild consumption has become applauded by the public, where the outdoors is in the shadows of mega shopping centres and late November is turning into the film, The Purge, one company has closed its doors to Black Friday.

Recreation Equipment Inc (REI) takes its values and mission very seriously. Although they are a retailer of outdoor clothing and equipment they are committed to the betterment of the world. Their plan to close all stores across the country on Black Friday was a stand for global conservation and against the staggering increase of consumerism. The retailing business can be tricky at times, relying on seasonality and cyclical trends, always strategizing the next event to generate sales. For REI it was a bit different looking towards the Black Friday event.

This struck a chord with V because our philosophy here is to make people happy, keep it simple, be creative, focus on the solutions and do what right. And in our belief, REI did just that.

But how did this come to be? Surely it wasn’t just a spree of the moment gamble on a single hashtag…


It wasn’t about creating a story but instead following one that had been written a long time ago. A story that says the outdoors is the best place to be. The decision to close all retail locations across the country while still paying its 12,000 employee was brought together by Venables Bell & Partners, as well as Edelman and Spark as mentioned in Fast Week’s article.

REI encourages everyone to #optout of Black Friday and go enjoy the outdoors by promoting their campaign though social media, traditional media and a microsite. The reward of the high risk campaign sky rocketed shown by the stats in Fast Week.

  • Social Media impression increased by 7000%
  • 7 billion impressions in 24 hours
  • 7 billion impression on the entire campaign
  • 4 million people were persuaded that spend the day outside
  • 150 other companies joined in on the action



As competition tightens in the market place the brand has never been so important. With so many choices consumer are looking for more than just an outdoor equipment retailer, more than just price- they are investing in brand that aligns with their own values. #Optout is a perfect example of, sorry for the cliché, but thinking outside the box and how that mentality can pay out major dividends. Great marketing does not happen by accident, great marketing is due to meticulous planning, careful action and assessing until the cows come home! If you look at your own company brand and think that Black Friday is right for you then carry on but remember this, a brand with corresponding value to its audience makes money 355 days out of the year not just the black one!