REI, the outdoor retail company, has made headlines in recent weeks for its decision to not only remain closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but also to provide all 12,000 of its employees with paid time off on those days. As Shep Hyken with Forbes says, REI has gone retail rogue.
Or have they? REI is hardly the only company to shut its doors on the holiday this year. And though many big box stores argue that they must remain open to be competitive, Amazon, the online behemoth, is on track to make record sales. Black Friday shopping now presents us with two interesting trends: 1) more people are getting the day off, and 2) a company synonymous with automation is set to reign on this shopping holiday.
Is it possible that the oft-maligned rise of robots could benefit society and that paid days off will be a thing of the future?