Dick’s Sporting Goods is planning to eliminate guns and other hunting products from 125 stores in 2019, a move that comes as the retailer continues to suffer fallout from its controversial decision to ban the sale of some firearms.
The Coraopolis, Pennsylvania-based chain removed the category from 10 stores in 2018, locations which then “had a strong margin rate improvement,” CEO Ed Stack told investors on Tuesday.
The in-store sections will be replaced with “merchandise categories that can drive growth," he said.
Following a shooting in Florida in February 2018 that left 17 students and staff dead, Dick’s hiked the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21 and prohibited the sale of AR-15 style rifles.
While Stack previously predicted it would bring in new customers, the decision has led to a decline in earnings in the firm’s hunting business.
In the three months through Feb. 2, declines in the sector drove a 3.7 percent drop in same-store sales. Overall, sales dropped 6.5 percent to $2.5 billion, the company said on Tuesday. Profits fell to $694 million, or adjusted to $1.22 per share – higher than analysts expected.
Dick’s expects 2019 earnings to hit as high as $3.35 per share.