The Washington Post reports this morning that “for the third year in a row, REI is shutting down its stores — and its website — on Black Friday. The outdoor goods chain says it is doubling down on efforts to back away from the commercial frenzy by giving people ‘a moment to take a breath.’ Instead of hitting the malls, the company says shoppers should go for a hike.”

The story notes that “when REI announced in 2015 that it would remain closed on Black Friday, it was regarded as a radical move in an industry that relies heavily on holiday shopping. And messing with Black Friday, which is historically the most lucrative day of the year for many retailers, seemed risky … It turned out to be not that big of a deal. Consumers continued to shop at REI, and both sales and profit rose year-over-year.”

KC's View: At this point, closing on Black Friday has become a decision so identified with REI that it would be almost impossible to change. Not that this is a bad thing.

Also, it is worth noting that REI’s strategy has coincided with a declining national fascination with Black Friday. It is still a big day for holiday sales, but not what it used to be. Not to be cynical, but the timing is propitious.

That all said, I have no intention of going anywhere near any stores on Thanksgiving weekend. A hike sounds lovely.