Some businesses are choosing to stay closed on Thanksgiving to give employees a much-deserved break, and REI isn’t participating in Black Friday at all

With Black Friday looming closer, many people are rejecting the materialistic trends of the holiday shopping season to focus on family instead. Some major retailers are taking a stand to remain closed this Thanksgiving, providing their workers a break before the busy shopping day — and other companies will forgo Black Friday altogether.

Black Friday

REI is encouraging its employees and customers to skip the lines and #OptOutside this Black Friday. Photo provided by REI.

REI, for example, which is moving its headquarters from Kent to Bellevue in 2020, will not be participating in Black Friday whatsoever.

All REI stores will be closed as the company focuses on its #OptOutside campaign, encouraging consumers everywhere to spend time outside instead of in stores.

Thousands of people participate in Black Friday shopping each year, with retail sales beginning earlier and earlier to fight competition. In recent years, some major retailers have even kicked off holiday sales on Thanksgiving in order to beat the rush.

Some stores — including Nordstrom, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Staples, and Costco — have announced they will remain closed on Thanksgiving, encouraging their workers to stay at home with their families instead of in the workplace.

Ramon Avila, marketing professor at Ball State University, said there are many reasons major retailers should choose to stay closed this Thanksgiving. By resting, spending time with family, and foregoing the stress of working the holiday, Avila said workers will hopefully have their spirits lifted and feel happier to return to work on Black Friday.

Black Friday

Nordstrom is one of many companies closing its doors this Thanksgiving. Photo courtesy Nordstrom via Facebook.

“Over the past few years, we’ve heard a great deal of moaning and groaning by employees who have to come into work while their family is at home enjoying Thanksgiving,” Avila said in a press release. “People simply don’t want to walk away from young children or older relatives on what is supposed to be a very special day in our country.”

Providing a break from the challenges of retailing should give workers a much-needed boost before Black Friday begins — in some cases before dawn, Avila said.

“Many employees feel overworked and stressed,” he said. “With the economy in much better shape, these same workers may be facing larger crowds this year than in the past.”

In fact, the National Retail Federation anticipates that sales in November and December (excluding autos, gas, and restaurants), will increase 3.6 percent from last year to more than $655 billion.

For a full list of retailers that will be closed this Thanksgiving, visit