Dick’s Sporting Goods lost $150 million in sales as a result of the company’s anti-gun policies, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The loss amounted to 1.7 percent of the company’s overall revenue and has spurred the company to consider dropping hunting-related items entirely.
But Edward Stack, the company’s CEO and Virtue-Signaler-in-Chief, said the move was 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.”
Stack vowed in the wake of the Parkland massacre to stop selling “assault rifles” and “high-capacity” magazines in its Field & Stream stores, and to halt all gun sales to anyone under the age of 21. The move prompted backlash in the gun rights community, and some gun companies like Springfield and Mossberg cut ties with the sporting goods chain.
Gun control supporters tried to fight back by intentionally shopping at Dick’s to show their appreciation (sometimes called a “buycott”), but the move didn’t work. Turns out, gun owners were a major part of Dick’s consumer base, and they don’t easily forgive corporate attacks on the Second Amendment. The “buycott” folks didn’t stick around.
“Love is fleeting. Hate is forever,” Stack said.
But rather than reconsidering for the good of his employees, Stack has doubled down on his anti-gun position. He signed a letter supporting universal background checks, joined Everytown for Gun Safety’s business council, and hired an anti-gun lobbying firm.
As recently as February, Stack said he wouldn’t change any of the decisions he’s made in the last year.
“We talk about it internally and I often say: If we had a mulligan, we’d do it all over again,” he said.
Dick’s employees may end up paying the price for Stack’s activism. Though the company’s stock prices have risen overall, sales dropped significantly in 2018, and that’s been largely driven by weakness in the hunting category.
While the Dick’s Sporting Goods chain may not shutter many stores in the near future, Stack admitted that his Field & Stream brand may take a larger share of the hit. Many of those stores are locked into long-term leases, according to Bloomberg, and they’re facing a major transition away from hunting and shooting sports and towards “active outdoor” sports.
Right now, it’s anyone’s guess whether kayakers and hikers can save Field & Stream from Stack’s anti-gun crusade.