REI to close Black Friday, pay its employees to 'opt outside'

Forget exploring store shelves for for great deals this Black Friday, REI wants you to spend the day exploring the great outdoors.

The outdoor equipment retailer announced on Oct. 26 that its 143 stores will remain closed on Black Friday. Not only that, but they're paying their employees for the day and encouraging them to spend it outside.

"We believe a life lived outside is a life well-lived," the company's CEO Jerry Stritzke said. "We'd rather be in the mountains than in the aisles."

Along with the announcement, REI launched its #optoutside campaign on social media, encouraging people to share their plans to spend Black Friday outdoors. They've partnered with dozens of parks and recreation areas around the country, many of which offer free admission on Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.