And So It Begins: Countdown to Black Friday

November 2017 News Vanessa Oler Web Exclusive

Like most other Mondays in the office, we kick off yet another countdown to Friday. Today, however, is the one Monday out of the year we’re not actually looking forward to this Friday. That’s because Black Friday looms at the end of our countdown. Honestly, we’re still suffering from trauma of last year’s long lines, crazy knockout fights over electronics, and empty wallets.

Enter our resident “granola” staffer. Her mouth ran a mile a minute (before coffee!) about how excited she was to #OptOutside this Friday. She’s already got her canoe packed (it’s foldable and eco-friendly, of course) and her route mapped out. I’m pretty sure if I asked, she could tell me exactly the trees she’s planning on stringing her hammock between.

#OptOutside began in 2015 as a delicate balance of political statement and advertising genius. With the nation’s retailers announcing they would begin opening their doors to Black Friday sales Thanksgiving evening, REI opted out. CEO Jerry Stritzke announced firmly REI would unequivocally be closed on Thanksgiving. And, to the shock of all, on retail’s Holy Grail of sale days: black friday, so named because sales on that one day typically catapult retailers from operating in the red to making a profit. In totality, the outdoor co-op promised to shut all 149 of its doors on Black Friday, process no online sales and pay all 12,287 employees to take the day off and head outside instead.

In the two intervening years, #OptOutside has snowballed into a movement. A movement we wholeheartedly support! While more than a few of our boats on the Great Lakes are out of the water for the season, there are plenty of ways to #OptOutside this Friday. This week, we’ll be featuring four incredible options for you and your family to skip the crazy lines and head straight for the memories. We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and want to see your #OptOutside posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

To get you started, check out others who #OptOutside near you:

Michigan | Ohio | Chicago | BuffaloDuluth | Green Bay | Toronto 

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