REI (think Cabella’s or Bass Pro Shop for beatnik hipsters but less fun) is foregoing Black Friday by closing its doors and even postponing digital orders that day altogether.
The retailer is instead encouraging customers to enjoy the outdoors that day.
As if there is nothing more enjoyable to do than freeze your backside off exposed to the elements in late November.
There is a valid point about keeping wanton materialism at bay in light of the Walmart employee trampled to death a few short years ago by a mob questing for discounted electronics as elusive as the Holy Grail.
However, there is no moral superiority or obligation to be found for retailers or shoppers to avoid commerce on what is not even a legally obligatory holiday.
If it is wrong now to shop the day after Thanksgiving as a tangible gesture of how much one despises capitalism, why are the doors being reopened the Saturday following Black Friday?
Won’t those wanting overpriced outdoor gear simply show up then?
If REI really opposed the idea of people blowing their money on junk they really don’t need, wouldn’t the company close its doors forever and simply go out of business?
By Frederick Meekins