Amid Dropping Sales, Dick’s Doubles Down On Ditching Guns

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After the Parkland shooting in February 2018, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that it was making some big changes involving gun sales. The company imposed an age requirement of 21 for the purchase of a firearm, banned the sale of “assault rifles” at its subsidiary Field & Stream stores (it had already banned them from Dick’s years earlier), and banned “high capacity magazines” at all its stores. Within weeks, the company began to see a drop in sales, and in months the situation was bad enough for CEO Ed Stack to start openly blaming some of his company’s financial struggles on its high-profile gun control stance.

Amid continued financial struggles, including an 11% drop in shares Tuesday, Dick’s announced that it would stop selling firearms altogether at 125 of its 729 stores, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Stack announced the decision in a conference call Tuesday. The “gun-free” decision comes after a successful test in ten stores that had been underperforming in hunting sales, Stack explained. The company replaced guns and additional hunting gear with “higher-margin, faster-selling categories such as licensed sports gear and outdoor recreation equipment,” the Journal reports, and saw an increase in sales. That increase occurred while quarterly sales overall dropped 2.2%. The additional stores that will no longer sell firearms likewise underperform in the hunting category.

Dick’s public announcement that it was taking action to promote gun control began soon after the horrific mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018. Declaring that “thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Dick’s announced that it was changing its policies to curb firearm sales and began openly pushing for gun control policies. – READ MORE

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