Could Dick’s Sporting Goods be giving up guns altogether?
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The retailer pulled hunting rifles and related products from 125 of its stores earlier this year after a 10-store test showed “strong” results. With Dick’s set to announce its quarterly results on Thursday, it’s possible the company will also release plans to remove hunting products from more of its stores.
Dick’s still sells guns at about 600 of its stores.
But the company has felt pressure to move away from guns in response to mass shootings. After the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, Dick’s stopped selling AR-15-style rifles. Then after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the company stopped selling “high-capacity magazines” and AR-15-style rifles at its Field & Stream stores. It also set a minimum age of 21 for gun purchases.
Some shareholders have pressured the company’s leadership to stick by guns. Last summer, a conservative think-tank leader pressed CEO Edward Stack on the subject during a shareholder meeting, saying the company “alienated” gun owners.
Stack said the company saw the move as being “the best decision for the long-term aspect of our shareholders.”
Dick’s said it was already seeing a slump in hunting gear sales when it decided to pull rifles from 10 stores last fall. The stores picked for the test had particularly weak sales for the gear.
The company didn’t immediately respond to FOX Business’ questions about the results of the 125-store test. Stack previously said the hunting gear was being replaced with “merchandise that can drive growth.”
A Dick's Sporting Goods store is seen in Arlington Heights, Ill., Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Dick's Sporting Goods announced Wednesday that it will immediately end sales of assault-style rifles and high capacity magazines at all of its stores and ban (AP)
Since Dick’s pulled rifles from more of its stores, retailers have continued to feel pressure over guns. More than 120,000 people signed a Walmart employee’s petition protesting the company’s firearm sales since 22 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas earlier this month.
Walmart still sells guns at about half its U.S. stores. In 2015, the company stopped selling assault-style rifles. It also set a minimum age of 21 for weapon purchases last year.
Doug McMillon, Walmart’s CEO, said the company would be “thoughtful and deliberate” in its response after the shooting. While it has resisted calls to end gun sales, the company pulled displays from its stores for products like video games and movies that depict violence.