A conservative shareholder confronted Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack about the company’s falling share prices after it tightened gun sales policies, urging him to reconsider the months-old regulations.
David Almasi, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said when he brought up that gun sales restrictions had hurt the Pittsburgh-based company, Stack “dug his heels in.” Almasi attended the meeting as a representative of the conservative think tank’s Free Enterprise Project, which focuses on free-market investor activism.
“They were very unhappy that I was bringing up the fact that their sales have been down ever since they made the decision to do so in late February,” Almasi said on Thursday during an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. “Ever since, they’ve been losing money.”
On Wednesday, the sports retailer reported a same-store sales decline of 4 percent from the same period one year ago. Dick’s expects sales to fall by 3 percent to 4 percent for the full year, compared to the 0.3 percent decline from the year-ago period.
Dick’s executives had previously warned that hunting sales would suffer as a result of their policies. Stores will no longer sell guns to anyone under the age of 21 and pulling AR-15 rifles from its stores altogether. In a news release, Stack said lower demand for Under Armour products also contributed to weaker results this quarter.
Dick’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Despite lower numbers, Almasi said he was the only shareholder at the meeting who “stood up for gun owners and the right to shareholders who support the idea that a sporting goods store should be selling guns.”
“There’s no way this chain is going to get out of it, and unfortunately, they’re going to have to ride this down,” he said. “Because they’ve had three earnings calls where they’ve said this has hurt their business. But they’re not going to make any waves changing it.”