Using a play that feels vaguely reminiscent of the Patagonia “Don’t buy this shirt” campaign, REI announced yesterday that they will be closed for Black Friday and have effectively won the internet for the day. A quick Googling of ‘REI Black Friday’ shows that they are receiving a ton of press from outlets that have likely never mentioned them in the past – CNN, USA Today, Forbes, Time, etc. etc. Full copy of the email they sent out is below. While I can certainly appreciate the gesture (even if I really think it’s unauthentic and an obvious move for press) it made me realize that the management of REI are the last remaining folks that actually believe that REI still employees folks that spend time outdoors/know anything about outdoor gear anymore.
This BlackFriday the co-op is doing something different. We’re closing all 143 of our stores. Instead of reporting to work, we’re paying our employees to do what we love most—be outside.
We want you to be the first to hear—not just what we’re doing, but why.
We’re passionate about bringing you great gear, but we’re even more passionate about the experiences it unlocks for all of us. Perhaps John Muir said it best back in 1901: “thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home.”
We think BlackFriday is the perfect day to remind people of this essential truth.
And don’t worry, you’ll still enjoy great deals on great gear all holiday season long. But on this one day, we’re going to #OptOutside and we want you to join us.
Just received the below email from Venture Snowboards, and their homepage has the same copy. Venture will – wow, still shocked here – NOT be delivering any boards to market for 2015-16. Not sure if this is a reflection of the difficulty of bringing a US made product to a market that the giant offshore producers have gotten into, using their economies of scale to turn the splitboard market into a race to the bottom or something else is at play. Seems late in the year for this email if it was a supply or manpower issue, and seems like they were the cleanest company in the biz so can’t see them being shut down by the EPA or similar. Maybe the whole ‘artisan movement’ has missed the snowboard scene altogether and they just lacked orders. Seems unlikely, their boards were loved by pretty much all.
First it’s our local shops, now it’s our manufacturers. After last winter are the resorts next?
We’re doing some live testing for my latest startup and need your help! As we’re not above blackmail we’re giving away a $10 REI gift card to one lucky tester. All you have to do to help out and be entered is tweet #poormansheli to @poormansheli to be entered (or reply #poormansheli to the embedded tweet below). That’s it! We’re trying to make sure our live servers are getting all the data we think they should be. Make sure you tweet ONLY the hashtag to be entered.
I wouldn’t have seen this coming given they’ve been together for longer than most WCT surfers have been alive, thought he had an MJ/Nike thing going – and in fact I think it could be an April Fools thing given Kering is, upon quick glance, more doucheheavy than Crockpot (and if it is an April Fools joke you’d think the company could spend more cycles trying to pull itself from it’s downward spiral vs. something like this…). A friend of mine is the CEBro at Quik and just sent me a text and the below, Kelly Slater’s open letter on him parting ways with Quiksilver.
There is little I can say that would give the credit due or cover the debt of gratitude I feel on a personal and professional level to Quiksilver. As a brand and on a human level, they have been a part of my life, career, and personal relationships for more than 23 years now, well over half my life. They’ve supported me through good times and bad, personal hardships and competitive triumphs, and never wavered in backing my choices and desires in all that time. Under the tutelage of Bob McKnight, Bruce Raymond, Alan Green, Pierre Agnes and Danny Kwock (and many others), Quiksilver signed me to a 100% sponsorship deal in 1990, finishing up my amateur career and guiding me into my professional life and adulthood.
Having their support group around the world allowed me to create a life I only dreamt of as a child…making a documentary (Kelly Slater In Black and White) about the start of my professional career, going on boat trips and small charter planes to remote locations I’d likely never see, taking long car rides and promo tours to places I’d otherwise never visit, doing film trips to tropical islands few people have ever seen, etc. There could have been no better partner for me to have than Quiksilver.
The memories I have of joining the team and becoming like brothers with my heroes and team riders Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones and making lifelong friendships with Stephen Bell and others has fulfilled my life exponentially. There aren’t enough pages or words to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the experiences that have come from this relationship we’ve shared together. So it is with a heavy heart and a lifetime of positive memories that I move in a new chapter of my life.
As I contemplate the amazing opportunities I’ve had in life and the amount of good fortune I’ve encountered along the way, I’m excited to announce today that I’m embarking on a new journey. For years I’ve dreamt of developing a brand that combines my love of clean living, responsibility and style. The inspiration for this brand comes from the people and cultures I encounter in my constant global travels and this is my opportunity to build something the way I have always wanted to.
So I am excited to tell you that I’ve chosen The Kering Group as a partner. They share my values and have the ability to support me in all of my endeavors. I look forward to exploring all of the new opportunities this partnership will provide, but this hasn’t happened by chance, nor has it happened without an incredible amount of work by a few key individuals. As I embark on this new journey, I am sticking to my gut instincts and the belief that your dreams can become reality with the right intentions. I look forward to sharing more about it soon…
Say what you want about the owners and management of Crystal, it’s an irrefutable fact that Chair 6 was a classic. An old, slow hand me down from Mt. Pilchuck Yodelin that evoked memories of Ski Acres ski bus with every ride. That it accessed some stupid fun terrain was just icing on the cake. Anyways, that chair got taken out courtesy of a control slide that went full depth the other day. If you know that area this’ll make your asshole pucker.
(not) Chair 6 in it’s younger days
Safety meeting in the old 6 lift shack?
Those brown streaks are what my underwear would look like viewing this from close in
One of the wonders of the interwebs is you get to see referring URLs to your site. I’ve been seeing the below quite a bit the past few weeks. Obviously a large corporate CEO blogmaster has got me in their crosshairs as they go after world domination. Bad news bro, if you’ve got me on your ‘competitors’ list you’ve got bigger issues to worry about.