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black friday

A recent article in the Atlantic highlights Recreational Equipment Inc., commonly known as REI, attempts to urge retail stores and customers alike to boycott Black Friday.

Black Friday, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, is known to be the biggest shopping weekend of the year with terrific deals and discounts. While overall numbers were down by 11%, 2014 saw $50.9 billion dollar spent during the four-day weekend spending spree holiday. As this tradition continued and evolved throughout the years, many stores and media have now started to claim that the overall weekend has gotten out of control.

(Click here to see videos of customer altercations on Black Friday)

Because of this, a dozen national retailers have stated that they will not open on Thanksgiving weekend. While other stores such as Walmart and J.C. Penney will remain open for the weekend sales, Boycott Black Friday has made its way throughout social media through Facebook pages, Twitter post, and various media interviews.

One of the biggest leaders for this cause is the privately held American retail corporation organization for outdoor recreational gear, sporting goods, and clothing, REI. Last week, the outdoor-equipment retailer announced that it plans to close its distribution centers, all 143 of its stores, its headquarters, and even its main site on Black Friday this year. Jerry Strizke, the president and CEO of REI stated that “We think that Black Friday has gotten out of hand and so we are choosing to invest in helping people get outside with loved ones this holiday season over spending it in the aisles.”

(Click here to see Jerry Strizke to interview with CBS morning)

The move is a bold one, but an important one to make. For years, the American media have published various videos and media coverage on the preparation and aftermath for the giant spending weekend. Companies like REI, Nordstrom, GameStop, and T.J. Maxx have all claimed to close their doors for Turkey Day and give their employees the well-deserved rest and family time that they need. The spokesperson for T.J. Maxx has even go publicly to state that, “we consider ourselves an associate-friendly company, and we, are pleased to give our associates the time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.”

This idea of employee satisfaction has grown a large amount of media attention where companies and retail stores have decided to partake in the overall boycott for the weekend holiday. These companies include: Academy Sports and Outdoors, A.C. Moore, American Girl, Barnes & Noble, Bed, Bath & Beyond, BJ’s, Bloomingdale’s, Burlington Coat Factory, Costco, Crate & Barrel, Home Goods, Home Depot, Marshalls, Lowe’s, Men’s Warehouse, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sam’s Club, and much more.

While boycotters are focused on retailers to join their cause, they are also looking at the American public and the shoppers to continue the trend and make the holiday a time for rest and family. They believe that if they can eliminate the demand for shopping on Thanksgiving, retailers and stores can continue to stay closed which can give the retail employees an opportunity to rest on the holidays.