After opting out of Black Friday last year, REI is doubling down. In addition to closing its stores this year, it will be offering free rides to National Parks and other scenic locales.

The retailer’s decision generated a lot of social media buzz last year, pleasing both dedicated customers and new brand fans alike.

What does the typical REI fan look like?

  • REI fans live in the Northeast. This insight came as a surprise. Fans of the store are more likely to live in the Northeast, while people with an unfavorable view of the brand are more apt to live in the West. Why is this shocking? The retailer is based in Seattle. If the brand wants to bolster favorability in its founding territory, it should focus on grassroots campaigns and partnerships, perhaps with a local co-op or farm. Why local eats…? 
  • REI fans eat locally. REI shoppers might like to explore the wilderness, but when it comes to buying produce, they prefer locally grown organic food. By partnering with local markets and farms, the outdoor supplier could bolster its fan base while advertising to potential new customers.
  • Techies shop at REI. Who would’ve thought wilderness and technology go together like PB&J? Fans of the store are more likely to closely follow technology trends, in addition to owning or wanting to own home automation products. These shoppers are early adopters who choose personal electronics based on social media influence.

    The retailer already has some technology for sale, but it might want to consider expanding its tech offerings to boost sales.
  • REI shoppers focus on an environmentally healthy lifestyle. It’s a no-brainer that there’s a strong correlation between the love of the great outdoors and a desire to preserve them. People who shop at the retailer are environmentally conscious, and what’s more, they make lifestyle choices to help the environment. They recycle and use reusable shopping bags.

    It would benefit REI to expand product lines that promote environmentalism both inside and outside, like clothes, cookware and hygiene/cosmetic products.
  • REI and IPAs. Fans of the store might be regular exercisers and outdoors people, but they also enjoy a beer or glass of wine. In tandem with their preference for local businesses, REI should partnet with local micro-breweries and wineries to boost its fanbase.
  • REI fans do it all for the Instagram. Complimenting their techie behaviors, fans of the outdoor supply store are active on Instagram and Pinterest. It makes sense that people who enjoy the outdoors are most engaged on more visual social media platforms.

    REI should use these sites to its advantage by creating visuals that not only inspire shoppers to plan their next hiking trip but also encourage them to do so in the latest gear.

Curious who will be shopping on Black Friday? Check out our recent findings on shopping behaviors or the profile of a Cyber Monday shopper.