Dick’s Sporting Goods anti-gun stance hurting stores

Earlier this year, Dick’s Sporting Goods took a stand against gun violence and decided to stop selling “assault weapons” at their Field & Stream stores. Now, Edward Stack, the chairman and CEO of the company is admitting that stand has cost them business and says they may have to close stores.

When asked by an employee of Goldman Sacs on a conference call about how their decision not to sell semi-automatic firearms in their Field & Stream stores, Stack responded by saying:

Well, we’ve made that decision at the end of February, what we’re going to do with firearms. And what we said is, we would not sell any of the assault-style rifles, we wouldn’t sell high-capacity magazines. We’d never sold bumps stocks which turn a semiautomatic weapon into basically an automatic weapon, and we wouldn’t sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age.

So that’s in February. It’s still a little early to tell. So we’re taking a look at this. It will depend on a number of things that we’re going to be assessing through the balance of this year. So we’ve had some vendors who’ve decided based on our decision to not sell the assault-style rifle that was used in the Parkland shooting that they wouldn’t
sell us any longer.

So as you know, there’s been some people who said we’re not going to sell you any firearms anymore. We’re not going to sell you our product. We’ve had some other people who’ve indicated that they wouldn’t shop with us any longer. So we’ve got to take a look and we’ll assess this through this holiday season, if the brands are going to continue to or not. Some brands are not going to continue to sell us. If consumers upset with us, we will make a decision of what we’re going to do with Field & Stream.

My sense is that we can either take a look at closing that store, that concept or reconceptualizing it into a more of an outdoor type concept and we’re taking a look at all of these things and by the end of – the peak of the hunting season is coming up in – and basically, the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter and as we move into the end of the fourth quarter, we’ll make a decision as to what we’re going to do.

He says the company doesn’t regret their decision, though and would do it all over again if they had to.

“As we put out kind of our guidance for the year and our earnings guidance for the year, we knew this would happen when—we’ve made some decisions on firearms in the past and we’ve had a pretty good idea of what these consequences were going to be. We felt that was absolutely the right thing to do. We would do the same thing again if we had a mulligan, so to speak, to do it again.”

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