REI’S BLACK FRIDAY CLOSURE IS A BRILLIANT EMPLOYEE RETENTION STRATEGY
Black Friday is synonymous with people dipping out of Thanksgiving dinners early to stand outside and wait for retail stores to open their doors. Only just a few years ago, stores didn’t open their doors until Friday at 6 a.m. Then it became Friday at 4 a.m. And now we’re hearing of stores opening on Thanksgiving afternoon.
Thanksgiving is quickily dissolving as Black Friday is steadily cannibalizing the holiday. And for the employees that have no choice but to skip family time to open the doors early, you can be sure they won’t be engaged during their shift. Which means you can’t expect them to deliver exceptional customer service.
But REI knows the importance of work-life balance. News broke that this retail giant is rebeling against Black Friday. Not only is REI closing their doors for the day, but they’re also paying their employees to spend time in the Great Outdoors.
REI Stays True to Their Mission
As a store that encourages and supports people to take to nature, it only makes sense that they’re replacing Black Friday with an #OptOutside campaign.
REI’s CEO, Jerry Stritzke told CNN Money:
“This business centers [on] the outdoors. Thus, we can do something like close our doors on Black Friday, and we’ll have the membership that’ll think that’s cool … You need people to go to the mountain, you need people to catch that outdoor bug.”
Appreciate Employees’ Time Off
Companies show employee recognition in their own way — thank-you cards, microbonuses, etc. But why not offer the most valuable form of appreciation: a day off from work.
Thanksgiving is a day set aside for people to reflect upon what they’re thankful for. So by giving employees this precious day off instead of dragging them to open the doors for bargain-hunting mobs, you’re showing that you care about them even outside of the workplace. And in return, they’re more likely to stick around.
Don’t believe us? Our most recent Employee Retention Report discovered these eye-opening findings:
Employee appreciation plays a huge role in retention. Give your hardworking people some work-life balance and prevent burnout by giving them a day to relax on Thanksgiving. If a huge national chain like REI can do it, we’re sure you can too.