Earlier this year, Dick’s Sporting Goods made headlines–and lost customers–for taking a bold, while most likely unnecessary, stand against “assault rifles”.
As a sporting goods retailer, they do carry rifles for hunting and sport shooting, but they proudly announced shortly after the Parkland shooting that they’d no longer be carrying the AR-15, the most popular rifle in the US and the weapon used at the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglass High School on February 14th, 2018.
They also opted to raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21. The Parkland shooter was 19 at the time of the shooting. Dick’s made the announcement after it was determined that the shooter had purchased a weapon at one of their locations.
Then, they made headlines once again when they announced they’d actually be destroying the stock of AR-15s that they now refused to sell.
Sales began to decline, as you may have expected, and have continued to do so, as the Daily Wire reports.
They explain that while Dick’s credits their floundering sales in part to Under Armour’s decision to leave sports retailers and focus more on department stores, it is impossible to deny their vocal anti-gun policy has also had an impact.
The other half … well … Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack tried to couch it as best he could, but it’s clear that destroying the company’s stock of AR-15s and other assorted “assault rifles” had an impact on Dick’s bottom line.
“As expected, sales were impacted by the strategic decisions we made regarding the slow growth, low margin hunt and electronics businesses, which accounted for nearly half of our comp decline,” Stack said in a statement. “In addition, we experienced continued significant declines in Under Armour sales as a result of their decision to expand distribution.”
Dick’s banned sales of so-called “assault rifles” at its stores and at its sister retailer, Field & Stream. It also banned the sale of “high capacity” magazines and barred the sale of any gun to any customer under 21 years of age. At the time, the company admitted they believed the move could hurt sales, but said that they hoped the change would attract a new breed of Dick’s customer.
The anti-gun crowd must not buy a lot of sporting goods.
Hey, let’s hand it to them: perhaps they really genuinely do believe in the anti-gun cause to take this big of a financial hit.
If they truly wanted to make a difference, however, perhaps they could have put their energy into supporting policies that actually keep people safer, not just slightly inconvenience hunters aged 20 and under…
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