Economy & Business

Dick’s Sporting Goods Sales Sink After New Gun Policy

Rifles are displayed for sale at the Guntoberfest gun show in Oaks, Pennsylvania (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Dick’s Sporting Goods has suffered a surprisingly steep downturn in sales since promising to sell fewer guns, but the problem isn’t the gun sales, Fortune says.

Stock tumbled to the lowest in four months after the sports store banned assault-style weapons from its Field & Stream stores and raised the minimum age for a customer to buy a firearm from 18 to 21.

However, the store has also suffered problems with overstocking and high discounts, as well as increased competition from places like Nike and Amazon.

After the Parkland school shooting last month that killed 17, Dick’s executives were aghast to learn that the young gunman had bought one of his many guns from them, though not the one he used in the shooting.

As a sign of solidarity with the student protesters calling for gun control laws, Dick’s announced it would no longer sell assault-style firearms and high-capacity magazines.

The athletic gear company instituted a similar ban after the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting but rescinded it a few months later by introducing assault weapons to its Field & Stream stores. This time the ban is permanent, Dick’s says.

“Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” the company said in a statement. “We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us.”

“There’s going to be some pushback and we expected that,” said CEO Edward Stack, in an earnings call with Wall Street analysts, according to CNN. “There are going to be the people who don’t shop us anymore for anything.”

The decision is “not going to be positive from a traffic standpoint and a sales standpoint,” Stack predicted.

The company’s shares fell 7.3 percent after going up 13 percent this year. Sales failed to hit the projected $2.74 billion, tapering off at $2.66 billion for this quarter.

Dick’s still plans to open 19 new stores this year and hopes it will boost their brand.

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