For the third year in a row, REI is creating a "new American tradition" with their #OptOutside campaign, urging people to get out of the malls and get outdoors on Black Friday.
REI will close its 151 stores on Black Friday, process no online sales and pay all of its 12,000 employees to #OptOutside with family and friends.
"We are doing this again to unite people and to find common ground in the outdoors," said REI 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."
REI's new experiential search engine features images pulled from #OptOutside on Instagram, with added real-time information about locations and experiences across the country. For example, a user can click on a picture of a hiker and see the name of the specific trail, directions to the trailhead, the trail's difficulty rating and recent reviews of hikers' experiences. Now through Black Friday, REI will release 20 films featuring users' photos.
If you choose to #OptOutside anytime this year, KING 5 has our own Facebook page called Explore the PNW. Join our community and share your pictures!