Two years after banning so-called “assault weapons, Dick’s Sporting Goods has announced it will now eliminate the hunting section and all firearms from a majority of its stores.
Apparently emboldened by increased sales of baseballs and outerwear, Dick’s will stop selling firearms in 440 of its stores and completely eliminate the hunting section in those locations by the end of this fiscal year.
The hunting section already had been eliminated from 125 Dick’s locations. Company CEO Edward Stack told Market Watch last year the departments would be replaced with “categories and products that can drive growth.”
Dick’s has not ruled out removing guns from all locations.
Stack said on an earnings call last August that the company was able to make up for a loss in gun sales and customers by adding more shoes and clothing to its inventory.
“We feel that we’re enthusiastic about the three main categories of our business — apparel, footwear and hardlines — and even with the continued deterioration in the hunt business and the firearms business, we’ve been able to make up for that in these other categories and we expect to be able to do that through the balance of the year,” he said on the call, according to Market Watch.
With the company so entrenched in its anti-gun stance, it has little to lose by eliminating hunting merchandise at this point.
After alienating gun owners, the sporting goods chain is free to exercise its liberal politics unrestricted as it attracts a new customer base.
Many firearms owners and enthusiasts have simply chosen to take their business elsewhere.
Other major retailers still sell firearms and hunting equipment, as do local retailers.
The shooter had previously bought a shotgun at a Dick’s location, which bothered Stack.
While the shooter did not use the shotgun during his rampage, Dick’s decided to raise the minimum age of gun-buying customers to 21 and to ban “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines,” Stack told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in 2018.
“To think about the loss and the grief that those kids and those parents had, we said, ‘We need to do something,'” Stack said. “And we’re taking these guns out of all of our stores permanently.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack on decision to pull assault-style rifles from their stores: “We’ve decided not to sell these assault weapons any longer in any of our stores…looking at those kids and those parents, it moved us all unimaginably.” https://t.co/JDJSPuW8hE pic.twitter.com/0o99PU9sEk
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 28, 2018
Stack bragged to CBS News in October that his company had destroyed $5 million worth of what he called “assault rifles” as part of its new stance against firearms and hunters.
Rather than return the guns to the manufacturer, Stack told CBS he wanted to destroy them.
“I said, ‘You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, we need to destroy them,'” he said.
Of the remaining guns on store shelves, he added: “We’ve got the whole category under strategic review to see what we’re going to do with this category.”
Dick’s hired a number of anti-gun lobbyists in 2018 and has been attempting to force its liberal corporate policy on Americans who no longer shop in the company’s stores, according to Bloomberg.
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