Why Is This Retailer Closed On Election Day?

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Patagonia has a strong track record of being outspoken about various social issues and causes — mostly environmentally-minded — that really mean something to the company. Its latest feat in the name of something bigger? It's really committed getting people to the polls to vote tomorrow. But instead of a cheeky pro-voting Instagram shot (like, say, Alexander Wang's post) or incentivizing voting with a discount of some sort, the outdoor clothing purveyor is making a bold move to prove just how invested it is in the importance of voting during this election cycle.

All of the retailer's store locations, as well as its Reno, NV distribution center and Ventura, CA headquarters, will be closed tomorrow to encourage its 2,000 employees (and, to a lesser extent, the brand's customers and fans) to get out and vote. Patagonia isn't siding with a specific party or candidate; instead, its "Vote Our Planet" campaign encourages its customers to focus on environmental issues are being addressed by each candidate. A dozen years ago, the retailer started running non-partisan environmental campaigns during election season; this is the first time its closing up shop, literally, to make a statement about voting.

“During a time of catastrophic environmental crisis, when America needs strong leadership to confront the fundamental threat of climate change, voter turnout threatens to reach historic lows as people are turned off by the ugliness of politics,” said Patagonia's CEO, Rose Marcario, in a statement. “As a business, we have a unique ability to take a stand and choose to prioritize the health of the planet over profit, and I think it’s important we take that opportunity when it truly matters."

Leading up to its one-day closure in the name of hitting the polls, Patagonia has hosted events at all of its 29 outposts across the country, and has pledged $1 million in 2016 to its "Vote Our Planet" campaign, which also involves local voter guides (in certain states) that outline environmental issues that one's vote can affect.

Beyond taking a strong, eco-centric, pro-voting perspective, the brand has bucked convention and taken a stance on the consumption overload of Black Friday for the past three years, encouraging shoppers to swap gear instead of buying new threads as a means of reducing waste.
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