After a test run at 10 stores last fall, Dick's Sporting Goods will move to remove all guns and ammunition from 125 stores. Sales grew in the stores where firearms were removed, prompting the decision to expand the removal to stores where sales of gun products underperformed.
According to Fox 8, this is the latest move by Dick's to scale back gun sales and follows a decision by the company to stop selling "assault-style weapons" in February in the wake of Parkland high school shooting. The latest move will affect around 17 percent of the company's stores around the nation.
"We look at this as a multi-year initiative," CEO Edward Stack told analysts according to Fox 8. "If it goes as well as expected, we would probably take another batch of stores next year."
Dick's operates around 720 stores around the United States. In stores where guns and ammo were removed, sales grew and the firearms sections were replaced by "merchandise categories that can drive growth" in the store markets according to The Chicago Tribune.
The decision to remove weapons from the stores stems from reports that the Parkland assailant had purchased a shotgun from a Dick's store. This prompted Stack to "take a stand and do this," discussing his decision recently at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council.
"I basically said, 'I don't care what the financial implication is," Stack said at the gathering.
Stack's move drew criticism from guns rights advocates and groups like the National Rifle Association. According to The Chicago Tribune, the NRA called Stack's decision a "strange business model" while the National Shooting Sports Foundation expelled Dick's from membership with the organization. Dick's also faced a pair of lawsuits from a 20-year-old in Oregon and an 18-year-old in Michigan for discrimination after also raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21.
The blowback did hurt sales according to reports, but it isn't stopping the store from moving forward. Reports indicated that Dick's stock fell around 11 percent following the announcement, but recent indicators have seen it up by 25 percent this week.0comments
The fate of the guns removed from the stores is interesting. All guns, ammo, and accessories won't be sent back to a distributor or sold off elsewhere. Instead, all of the items removed are destroyed, with remaining parts being sent for recycling.
Stack was also one of four CEOs to sign a letter supporting "universal gun control" according to The Chicago Tribune and joined gun-control advocacy group Everytown.