REI Opted Out Of Black Friday
Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, so why did one retailer opt out? Sporting goods and outdoor gear retailer, REI closed its doors on Black Friday this year, trading in super discounted promotions for a “life outdoors is a life well lived” promotion. While this seemingly strange stance may work for REI, it may not be a successful strategy for other brands.
As suggested in “Banning Black Friday: REI’s Decision To Opt Out (And Why Others May Want To Follow),” posted by Matt Kates on Forbes.com, at least one big business is jumping off of the runaway Black Friday bandwagon. REI has decided to change their plan of attack by closing their 143 stores and postponing digital orders on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. As Black Friday draws millions of shoppers to kick off the retail shopping season, why would REI opt out of this opportunity to satisfy shoppers and boost sales? In this case, REI is encouraging shoppers to spend some time outside on Black Friday, which makes sense for a retailer with the mission to educate and outfit the community for all sorts of outdoor activities and environmental stewardship. It’s part of their authenticity and fits their branding strategy, although it’s also a risky, bold marketing move.
REI is banking on the theory of ‘differentiation’ or doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing. They get a moment in the spotlight as every other retailer is highlighting discounts and early bird deals. To make up for the business they could be losing on Black Friday, REI could push sales harder after November 27th or during other times of the year. Clever marketing campaigns and other ways to engage customers can work at any time as well as boost sales and improve customer engagement all year long.
Businesses can deploy a customer relationship management (CRM) solution to get to know customers better, improve branding tactics, and deliver engaging marketing campaigns. Contact AKA Enterprise Solutions to learn more about using CRM to measure the success of marketing efforts and promotions and boost sales all year long.