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Rapha is skipping Black Friday this year

Joe Robinson
13 Nov 2020

British brand to give its 470 staff the day off and donate bikes to charity instead

As we roll through November, it has become tradition for online retailers and high street shops to ramp up endless bargains and discounts towards Black Friday, the annual holiday of buying things really cheap.

In fact, such a behemoth has this day of unashamed consumerism become, the event now spans most of the month rather than just the single day.

Yet this year, one that has put stresses and strains on retail outlets like never before, some are deciding to do things a bit differently. 

One of those brands is Rapha, which has decided to ignore Black Friday this year. Instead, it is set to give all 470 staff members the day off to go and ride and will instead donate up to 1,000 bikes to World Bicycle Relief.

A brand that admits it has previously bought into the Black Friday frenzy of years gone by, Rapha made the judgement call that despite 2020 being a year of unease and uncertainty, the need to drive more sales through Black Friday was not really necessary as this year was actually one of prosperity for the cycling industry, a knock-on effect of people discovering cycling during lockdown.

Join the Rapha Black Friday challenge on Strava here

So for this Black Friday, Rapha has decided to close all 21 of its global Clubhouses and give all of its 470 employees a free day off to go and ride their bikes.

What's more, for every 1,000km covered by Rapha staff – and even us regular folk if we sign up to the challenge – and logged on Strava, the Rapha Foundation charity will donate a bicycle to the World Bicycle Relief, the ultimate goal being able to provide 1,000 bikes through a £120,000 donation.

Now we are not asking you to shun Black Friday this year in some grand stand against mass consumerism. We appreciate that some of the deals floating around are actually quite good and the pennies saved all help towards dealing with the festive period, which is why we report on it here at Cyclist.

But maybe we should all follow Rapha's lead on Friday 27th November and sneak out for a bike ride, short or long, to perhaps reflect on this strange year and help contribute towards a good cause in the process.