Fear & Loading: Dick’s Closing More Gun Departments, Despite Plummeting Sales

posted on March 13, 2019

A financial report issued this week by Dick’s Sporting Goods, with figures that cover the year since it enacted policies that drew criticism from Second Amendment supporters, shows the firm’s, “… same-store sales fell 3.1 percent in the 12 months that ended Feb. 2 from the comparable period a year earlier,” according to the New York Times. The corresponding decline in profit, however, didn’t deter the company from also announcing it will stop selling firearms, hunting gear and associated products at another 125 of its nearly 850 retail stores. Ten of its outlets closed their departments in the fall.

The Wall Street Journal notes, “Dick’s has struggled with declining sales since its CEO Ed Stack made a public decision to stop selling guns to buyers under 21 and take assault-style weapons [sic] out of all stores …” Company income for the last quarter, according to USA Today, totaled $102.6 million. The figure a year ago, pre-policy, stood at $116 million.

“Public reaction to the policies Dick’s introduced after the Parkland shooting was a ‘meaningful driver’ in the declines, Mr. Stack said in a conference call with analysts on Tuesday,” according to the New York Times article. MSN Money ominously reported, “Dick’s Sporting Goods dropped ‘the bomb’ in its earning call that has hurt a number of retail stocks of late and investors should refrain from buying shares, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Tuesday.” Stocks in the publicly traded firm dropped by more than 10 percent during the day’s trading.

Selection in the stores was vastly reduced early last year when Mossberg, Springfield Armory, Hi-Point, Hogue and many others in the industry pulled their wares from the retailer. Dick’s Sporting Goods was also expelled from National Shooting Sports Foundation membership. The  financial impact was felt as early as August, when the company’s quarterly report reflected a drop in same-store-sales 3 times higher than anticipated.

The company didn’t release locations that will have firearm and hunting gear removed from inventory.   


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