The backlash from Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision to pull assault rifles and ammunition from store shelves and raise the purchase age from 18 to 21 has never materialized.
The retailer, led by CEO Ed Stack, reported better-than-expected first-quarter results despite discontinuing the sale of assault-style rifles.
Shares of the Pittsburgh chain’s shares shot up 26 percent, to close last week at $38.35. Its shares are up 21 percent since it announced its gun restrictions on Feb. 28, according to the New York Post. Revenue in the three months ended May 5 rose 4.6 percent, to $1.91 billion, while profit increased 3.2 percent, to $60.1 million. At the same time, Dick’s raised its profit estimate for the year.
“I’m extremely optimistic about the future of Dick’s Sporting Goods,” Stack said during a conference call.
In fact, the Post notes, the restrictive stance on gun sales may even have boosted customer traffic to some stores, according to Reveal Mobile, a Raleigh, NC, company that tracks mobile data and found that foot traffic at Dick’s stores surged nearly 4 percent the weekend following its new gun policies. “It’s very easy for people to go to their social media accounts” to express their support or anger, “but it’s harder to change their shopping patterns,” said Matthew Davis, chief marketing officer of Reveal Mobile.
It was back on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, that Stack released this statement, which received widespread media attention:
“We at DICK’S Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones.
But thoughts and prayers are not enough.
We have tremendous respect and admiration for the students organizing and making their voices heard regarding gun violence in schools and elsewhere in our country.
We have heard you. The nation has heard you.
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. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America – our kids.
Following all of the rules and laws, we sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017. It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been.
Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.
We believe it’s time to do something about it.
By: Kent Wallace