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REI to repeat Black Friday #OptOutside campaign

Published October 30, 2017
For the third year, the co-op will close all stores and process no online orders.

SEATTLE (BRAIN) — REI will close its 151 stores on Black Friday, Nov. 24, and urge its employees and customers to opt to spend time outside, rather than shopping on that day.

This year, the third year that the co-op has closed on Black Friday, REI is launching a new "experiential search engine" at

"We are doing this again to unite people and to find common ground in the outdoors," said REI's CEO, Jerry Stritzke. "Right now, I think people are looking for a moment to take a breath, reground themselves and come together. More than 700 organizations and nearly 8 million people have joined #OptOutside over the past two years. We could not be more thankful. But last year we stepped back and said, 'we can do more.' We asked how we could offer new practical tools and inspiration. So we have captured the experiences of the outdoor community and organized them in a way that no one has done before."

The search engine features images pulled entirely from #OptOutside user-generated content on Instagram, augmented with real-time information about locations and experiences across the country. For example, users who click on an image of a hiker can see the name of the specific trail featured, the trail's difficulty rating, directions to the trailhead, recent user reviews of the experience and related advice from REI. 

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