Kroger’s Fred Meyer to stop selling guns, ammunition

Superstore chain Fred Meyer, a subsidiary of Kroger, on Monday said it would stop selling guns and ammunition in the near future, weeks after several retailers enacted new guidelines for firearm sales in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Fred Meyer sells firearms at 43 of its 133 stores located in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho, according to Reuters. The company said it “has made a business decision” to stop selling guns due to weak sales and did not reference any shooting as a catalyst for its exit.

“The company is currently working on plans to responsibly phase out sales of firearms and ammunition,” Fred Meyer said in a statement. “The company made the decision early last week after evaluating changing customer preferences and the fact that there have already been efforts to steadily reduce this category in Fred Meyer stores over the last several years due to softening consumer demand.”

Kroger shares declined more than 2% in trading on Monday. Fred Meyer said its firearms category represents just $7 million in annual sales and added that “sales continue to decline.” The superstore chain sells a wide array of goods, including groceries, clothes and electronics.

Fred Meyer’s decision came weeks after it changed its sales policy to bar individuals under the age of 21 from buying guns. Competitors Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods enacted similar changes. Dick’s Sporting Goods also decided to stop selling high-capacity magazines after the Parkland shooting.