REI won't be open on Black Friday, encourages metro Detroiters to #optoutside


  • Loumanzini, Instagram
Outdoor apparel retailer REI announced this week its closing its doors on Black Friday in an unprecedented act of big box rebellion against American consumerism. 

"Any retailer that hears this will be startled by the idea," REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke said in a statement to USA Today. "As a co-op ... we define success a little differently. It's much broader than just money. How effectively do we get people outside?"

To that end, REI is launching an #optoutside campaign to coincide with the retail holiday in hopes of encouraging folks to enjoy the great outdoors in their area. All 143 REI stores, including southeast Michigan's Troy, Northville, and Ann Arbor branches, will recognize the new Black Friday practice this year.

"The thing that is powerful to me is this clearly is not a financially self-serving act," Stritzke told USA Today. "It's an act where we're really making a very clear statement about a set of values."

What do you say — is this a new Black Friday tradition you can get behind? Or is that flat screen TV too important?

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.