REI's Closing for Black Friday Is Gutsy and Smart. Will Other Retailers Follow? | Michael Silverstein

Last week, outdoor-action-sports retailer REI announced that it would be closed for Black Friday, a day most retailers hope will be their biggest sales day of the year. It's a gutsy move that reflects the compass of company CEO Jerry Stritzke. Stritzke is a relative newcomer to REI, a cooperative owned by its customers. The 76-year-old company has been on a roll since Stritzke became CEO in 2014. A veteran of Coach and Victoria's Secret, Stritzke is an outdoor enthusiast who wants his frontline sales team motivated, engaged, and happy.

The history of U.S. retail is littered with companies that have not considered the emotional state of their sales people a priority. Retail positions a