REI earned some respect from me by announcing that they would give their employees a paid holiday, and keep both their online and retail stores closed on "Black Friday" - traditionally one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Instead, REI is encouraging both its customers and employees to "opt outside" - IOW, go and enjoy one of many recreational pursuits in the beautiful country we inhabit. In my opinion, retail operates in the USA have slowly encroached too far into the lives of store employees, most of whom are relatively poorly paid, and lack decent benefits - while expecting them to work nights, weekends, and public holidays. So I salute REI for making a stand, one that will allow their staff to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. Or spend it rock climbing or trail running - as they see fit. REI will probably lose some sales by this. But the generally positive exposure it has received will probably encourage some people to stop by their stores in the days leading up to the holiday.