People have gone elsewhere for all their hunting needs.
Stephen Gutowski at The Washington Free Beacon reported that since siding with those who support gun control, business has gone down at Dick’s Sporting Goods and the company may have to close Field & Stream:
Edward Stack, chairman and CEO of Dick’s, said during the event that the sporting goods chain’s recent 3.9 percent drop in same-store sales was the result of a mix of factors beyond their control as well as some he called “self-imposed.” Specifically, he said, “the decisions we made on firearms” negatively affected their bottom line but the drop in sales was something they expected. They did not, however, regret their decision to change a number of their gun-sales policies and back new gun-control legislation.
“Well I think it’s definitely a factor, and it’s nothing that we didn’t anticipate,” Stack said during the call. “As we put out kind of our guidance for the year and our earnings guidance for the year, we knew this would happen when—we’ve made some decisions on firearms in the past and we’ve had a pretty good idea of what these consequences were going to be. We felt that was absolutely the right thing to do. We would do the same thing again if we had a mulligan, so to speak, to do it again.”
Dick’s first modified its gun-sales policy in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting when it said it would no longer sell AR-15s and certain other semiautomatic rifles. The retailer quickly circumvented that pledge when it opened its outdoor-focused Field & Stream chain. But in the wake of the Parkland shooting earlier this year, the chain once again pledged to stop selling AR-15s and certain other semiautomatic rifles.
The report continued:
Still, Dick’s admitted both firearms customers and the firearms industry have rebutted the retailer because of their gun-control advocacy.
“Well, we’ve made that decision at the end of February, what we’re going to do with firearms,” Stack said. “It’s still a little early to tell. So, we’re taking a look at this. It will depend on a number of things that we’re going to be assessing through the balance of this year. So, we’ve had some vendors who’ve decided based on our decision to not sell the assault-style rifle that was used in the Parkland shooting that they wouldn’t sell us any longer. So, as you know, there’s been some people who said we’re not going to sell you any firearms anymore. We’re not going to sell you our product. We’ve had some other people who’ve indicated that they wouldn’t shop with us any longer. So, we’ve got to take a look, and we’ll assess this through this holiday season, if the brands are going to continue to or not. Some brands are not going to continue to sell [to] us. If consumers [are] upset with us, we will make a decision of what we’re going to do with Field & Stream.”
The company said it may soon close down their entire Field & Stream chain of 35 stores across 18 states.
“My sense is that we can either take a look at closing that store, that concept or reconceptualizing it into a more of an outdoor type concept, and we’re taking a look at all of these things and by the end of—the peak of the hunting season is coming up in—and basically, the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter and as we move into the end of the fourth quarter, we’ll make a decision as to what we’re going to do,” Stack said.
Stack admitted that the gun control policy affected the store’s “foot traffic,” but maintained it hasn’t done anything to profits.
The company sang a different tune just a week ago. Dick’s had to admit to investors “that its decision to remove certain ‘assault-style’ weapons from its Field & Stream stores cost it dearly and may limit its future gains.”
Dick’s stocks went down 4.5% while “J.P. Morgan Chase downgraded Dick’s shares, from ‘overweight’ to ‘neutral.'” The Daily Wire continued:
“Gross margin-driven upside appears less probable given 3Q’s performance, changing comparisons, and rising inventory levels,” an analyst for J.P. Morgan told CNBC. The same analyst noted that same-store sales for Dick’s outlets are expected to grow less than 1% even as the company’s inventory rises.
“The analyst pointed out that Dick’s same-store sales growth for 2019 is expected to be less than 1 percent after averaging 2.1 percent between 2011 and 2015. He also noted that while the company’s 25 percent Black Friday store discount will help boost sales, it will not boost margins,” the analyst continued. “Inventory levels, meanwhile, rose 1 percent in the third quarter after falling 5 percent in the first half of 2018 with inventory days estimated to return back to 2015-2017 levels.”
Dick’s chief financial officer Lee Bolitsky told USA Today that a weak gun market is also to blame. It’s not necessarily President Donald Trump’s fault, but we all know that gun sales tend to go up during Democratic administrations because gun control tends to become a top issue.
But as Emily Zanotti pointed out, people haven’t just chosen not go to Dick’s over the policy, but because they do “not trust Dick’s as an outfitter for any of their other needs – particularly their hunting needs.” That is why the company “removed all hunting gear from 10 stores as a test run.”
I don’t know if Stack and others in charge of Dick’s is surprised by all of this, but I’m not. You cannot hunt without a gun. Well, I guess you can with archery, but you get my point. I haven’t gone to Dick’s since they implemented their new policy, even for my non-gun related items.
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