Earlier this week, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that they would be removing hunting products from 10 of its stores this year. This comes on the heels of reports that second quarter sales at the big-box sporting goods retailer were lower than expected, prompting stock in the company to plummet by more than nine percent. In the wake of the Parkland shooting, Dick’s announced that it would remove all modern sporting rifles from its shelves, as reported by Forbes. Instead of returning them to their manufacturers or selling them to other retailers, Dick’s opted to destroy the firearms. In a statement a Dick’s spokesperson said, “We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.” They also raised the minimum age for gun sales to 21, a move that landed Walmart in hot water recently with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Dick’s says that the faltering sales have little to do their decision regarding modern sporting rifles, instead pinning its losses on Under Armour’s new distribution model, which is aimed to reach more middle-income shoppers by placing its clothing and footwear line in department stores such as Macy’s and Kohl’s. [CNN Money]https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/29/news/companies/dicks-sporting-goods-under-armour-nike-guns/index.html) reports that Dick’s CEO Edward Stack said, “We experienced continued significant declines in Under Armour sales as a result of their decision to expand distribution.”
CNBC reports that Stack didn’t place all the blame on Under Armour, acknowledging that the slide was related to its new firearm policies, stating, “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.” Sales decreased by four percent during the quarter.
Guns.com reports the CEO states the retail giant “[W]ill remove virtually all of the hunt products from 10 Dick’s stores with the category with significant under performance and replace it with products and in-store experiences that are most relevant to our athletes in those markets.”
As of this writing, what stores will be affected remain a mystery.
Dick’s was expelled from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) as one of its 13,000 retail members after its decision to hire a Washington-based gun control lobbying firm in May. The move also prompted many gun manufacturers, such as Mossberg, Hogue, MKS and Springfield Armory, to ditch the sporting goods store as a customer.
Despite this, guns.com reports Stack dismissed the rift with the gun industry, telling investors in May the policy change did not affect first quarter sales.
“I mean right after the election, you go back and take a look at others in this industry that were public, or the manufacturers, and the quarter or so after the election, those businesses started to have a problem,” Stack said in a statement published by guns.com. “So we’ve seen this coming on the gun piece.”