After slumping sales, will replace firearms with ‘merchandise categories that can drive growth, each based on the needs of that particular market…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Dick’s Sporting Goods will stop selling guns and hunting gear altogether at about 125 stores this August, following the company’s 2018 decision to restrict some firearm sales.
Investors did not respond well to the decision as stocks dropped about 11 percent, from $39 a share to less than $35, Bloomberg reported.
Dick’s CEO Ed Stack announced the change, which will affect 17 percent of the company’s stores, on March 12.
In February 2018, after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Stack decided that Dick’s would discontinue sales of so-called “assault” rifles and restrict all other gun sales for customers who were under 21.
In addition to these broad restrictions, Dick’s removed all hunting products from 10 stores last year to test the effects on revenue. Stack said these 10 stores had more customer visits and higher fourth-quarter 2018 sales than stores with guns.
Yet, he admitted that the restrictions on gun sales have hurt the company overall as pro-Second Amendment customers and groups distanced themselves from Dick’s.
He said the 125 stores that will remove hunting products will fill their inventory space with “merchandise categories that can drive growth, each based on the needs of that particular market.”
Dick’s changes to gun sales has been partly political and partly financial.
The company’s 2018 revenue dropped 2 percent because of declining gun sales, challenges with Under Armour products and worse-than-expected electronics sales. In response, Stack scaled back its hunting inventory, reworked its relationship with Under Armour and removed its electronics inventory.
But Stack is also using his corporate power to influence America’s access to firearms.
He’s a member of Everytown for Gun Safety’s business council, which lobbies Congress for gun restrictions.
Everytown is the brainchild of gun-control enthusiast Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City.
Stack signed a letter last month that advocated for the universal gun-control legislation, which the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed in February.