The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods told investors during the Goldman Sachs Retailing Conference that the company’s anti-gun stance has negatively impacted business to the point where they’re considering closing their Field & Stream stores.
Earlier this year, the sporting goods store raised their minimum age requirement for firearm purchases from 18 to 21. They also removed all assault-style weapons from their stores.
The company suffered greatly as a result of their anti-gun stance. Dick’s share price dropped more than 4 percent and store growth is beginning to stagnate.
Edward Stack, chairman and CEO of Dick’s, claimed that he anticipated the negative consequences of the company’s gun ban during the conference held by Goldman Sachs in September.
“Well I think it’s definitely a factor, and it’s nothing that we didn’t anticipate,” Stack said of the loss of business. “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.”
It’s definitely not a good business tactic to intentionally do something that will hurt business. Of course, Stack justified it by saying it’s “the right thing to do.”
“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,” Stack said.
Stack can try to spin the company’s decline as some kind of moral crusade but it won’t matter if the company ceases to exist.
Dick’s is paying the price for changing its gun policy earlier this year. The sporting goods company reported its sales were down in both stores and online. → https://t.co/nCzANIzytb pic.twitter.com/pRZVQh5oda
— NRA (@NRA) November 30, 2018
Investors don’t want to hear about the company doing “the right thing” if it causes significant losses.
Dick’s anti-gun crusade also soured their relationship with gun vendors.
“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,” Stack said. “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.”
It seems like the company’s gun ban has turned into a crisis. Both customers and vendors won’t do business with them anymore. It won’t be long until more investors start dropping them as well.
In an attempt to salvage their crumbling company, Dick’s is considering closing down all 35 of their outdoor-focused Field & Stream stores.
“My sense is that we can either take a look at closing that store, that concept, or re-conceptualizing it into a more of an outdoor-type concept,” Stack said.
It’s not surprising that customers want to take their business elsewhere. By taking such an anti-gun stance, law-abiding gun owners feel disrespected. Millions of Americans own guns and Dick’s told them to take their business elsewhere.
Dick’s turned its back on customers and they are paying the price.
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