Virtue, signaled (two weeks ago):
Dick’s Sporting Goods will no longer sell assault-style firearms, will ban high-capacity magazines and will not sell any guns to people younger than 21, the company announced Wednesday, a significant move for the retail giant in the midst of renewed calls for national gun reform.
Chief executive Edward W. Stack made the announcement during an appearance on “Good Morning America”, as well as through a company statement that said “thoughts and prayers are not enough” in the wake of America’s latest mass shooting. Two weeks ago, a gunman killed 17 people, most of them teenagers, in Parkland, Fla., with an AR-15 that was legally purchased. The alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, bought a shotgun from a Dick’s store in November, Stack said during the television interview.
Although the weapon purchased at the Dick’s outlet was not the one used in the massacre, Stack said his company was moved to act.
Virtue signal, responded to
Dick’s, which reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, said same store sales fell 2%, double the decline analysts expected…In a call with analysts, Chief Executive Ed Stack acknowledged that the new policy is “not going to be positive from a traffic and sales standpoint.”
It is difficult to say just how extensive the impact will be. Assault rifles were previously sold at three dozen of the company’s Field & Stream stores. Mr. Stack says the company has already seen pushback. “Some of those customers that buy firearms [from Dick’s] buy other things also.” They may not shop at Dick’s at all anymore, he said.
That loss is reflected in the company’s outlook. It expects same-store sales will range from flat to a single-digit decline this year. It also said that it will no longer provide analysts and investors with a quarterly outlook, underscoring the sense that the company is troubled.
It’s not all about guns. Dick’s, like a lot of national chains, is having a hard time adjusting to a market where Amazon, as well as a raft of e-commerce retailers like CheaperThanDirt, are eating up immense market share.
But the gun thing? That’s gonna leave a mark.