Guns Heartbroken Over Split with Dick’s

gun changing into picture of heart

After the Parkland High School shooting, Dicks’s Sporting Goods CEO, Edward Stack, made big announcement of being a pro-gun control advocate by refusing to sell any more AR-15’s from his stores. He even began launching campaigns to promote AR-15 bans.

Dick’s History

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS) is an American sporting goods retail company, one of the biggest U.S. sellers of firearms, based in Coraopolis, PA. The company was established by Richard “Dick” Stack in 1948, and has 850 stores and 30,000 employees.

The Decision

The shooter in the 2018 Parkland massacre bought a gun from Dick’s (not the one used in the shooting). “He should have never been able to buy a gun from us,” said CEO Stack, who wrote a book “It’s How We Play the Game”.

In February, 2018, Dick’s raised the minimum age for gun purchases to 21 and said it would cease selling assault style rifles or high capacity magazines. The decision came in the wake of the mass shooting at Parkland, which left 17 dead.

Financial Impact

The anti-gun crusade has cost the company a Quarter-Billion Dollars. On top of that, the company scrapped $5 Million in assault rifles that were in stock. “If we really think we need to get these off the street,” said Ed Stack, “then we need to destroy them.”

The Future

Enthusiastic about three main categories of apparel, footwear and hardlines; Dick’s is replacing the hunt line with products that can drive growth. Urban stores will not be affected by the loss of the hunt line; however, rural store locations will have a difficult time. It’s not just guns; it’s ammo, bows, duck calls, binoculars, camo, etc.

Barb’s Takeaway

There has been an overall slowdown in sales since the announcement; but despite this, the company has stated that if they could go back, they would still make the same choice today. Thanks to CEO Stack’s virtue signal, the move cost the company $1/4 billion. I wonder if Ed Stack has knowingly harmed investors and is breaching his fiduciary duty to investors; though Dick’s Board of Directors must have approved the move.

The company’s stock has rallied 23% in 2019. Stack’s venture into social activism maybe bolstering brand loyalty and creating long-term goodwill.

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November 15, 2019 Stock: Dick’s Sporting Goods -Share price closed @ $40.86

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