Downtown business opts out of opening for Black Friday

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A downtown is business is keeping its doors closed for Black Friday, along with its 142 other stores across the country.

REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), the outdoor gear and sporting goods co-op, is encouraging its employees to spend the day outside. In fact, employees will be paid to do so.

“We just think that it’s a great opportunity for people to be outside to spend the day with family and friends, says Cody Ackermann, Austin REI’s outdoor programs manager. “They’re closing all 143 stores across the country so it really is a pretty big movement to get all of our employees, customers and members outside on the trails.”

The company is asking the public to join them. On the REI Opt Outside website, you can enter your zip code and have a number of area trails presented for you to explore.

REI says what began as a group of 23 mountain climbing buddies is now the nation’s largest consumer cooperative.

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