Dick's Sporting Goods Loses $150M After Restricting Gun Sales

Ferlon Webster Jr. | April 1, 2019
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Let’s say you’re a store owner and you want to get rid of a high-selling item in your inventory. Your advisor tells you you’re going to lose an immense amount of money if you remove said item but you’re so “brave” you get rid of it anyway.

The consequences? Well, you have a giant dent in those once-full pockets just like good ole Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Last February, Dick’s CEO Ed Stack announced that the sports goods store would stop selling assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines. The decision came after the company learned the Stoneman Douglas High School shooter legally purchased his firearm at one of their stores. Just days after the shooting, another teenager with a legally purchased firearm from Dick’s was apprehended by Vermont police before he could harm students at his high school.

Those situations prompted Stack to take a political stand that caused division between the company and many of its business partners and associates. In turn, the sports retailer lost $150 million in revenue last year. 

As Bloomberg reports:

The National Rifle Association criticized his 'strange business model.' The National Shooting Sports Foundation expelled Dick’s from its membership. Gun manufacturers like Mossberg refused to do business with him at all, and some shoppers followed suit. 

Some people applauded the CEO’s decision and promised to show their appreciation with their business—a phenomenon called 'buycotting'—but those people didn’t stick around. 'Love is fleeting. Hate is forever,' Stack said.

Nevertheless, Stack has held to his guns (pun intended), claiming the millions of dollars lost were somehow worth it.

“The system does not work,” Stack said. “It’s important that when you know there’s something that’s not working, and it’s to the detriment of the public, you have to stand up.”

“It is clear we have a problem with the gun laws in this country,” Stack wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post. “They are not squarely focused on keeping all of us safe — especially our children. There continue to be mass shootings — at our schools, churches and entertainment venues. Following each of these senseless, tragic events there’s a great deal of idle, fruitless talk in the halls of Congress, and then the conversation quickly comes to an end.”

The CEO — who happens to be a gun owner himself and insists that he’s not anti-gun — is one of four CEO’s who signed a letter supporting a universal gun control bill that recently passed in the house. He also recently joined a gun-controlling non-profit group, Everytown for Gun Safety, which was founded by Michael Bloomberg.

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