Dick’s Sporting Goods steps up removal of guns from stores
Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., the largest U.S. sporting-goods retailer, plans to accelerate its retreat from gun sales, removing weapons and other hunting products from about 440 more stores. The retailer said the decision means almost 80% of its stores will be gun-free. When the latest removals are completed, around 575 Dick’s locations will no longer carry firearms.
The shares jumped 14% after Dick posted earnings and sales that beat estimates for the fourth quarter, ended in January.
Dick’s said previously that margins increased in stores that removed guns last year, and the company remains committed to the new direction. The company is also lobbying for stricter gun laws, and recently sold eight of its Field & Stream stores, a brand more specifically aimed at hunting and fishing.
(Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, helped launch Everytown for Gun Safety and backs candidates who support measures such as universal background checks.)
When Dick’s previously took guns out of 10 stores, then 125 more, it described the locations as ones “where hunt was underperforming.” Tuesday’s announcement of 440 more stores didn’t carry that description.
The action coincides with company efforts to attract more women to its stores. Those include include a $5 million grant to the U.S. Soccer Foundation, a sponsorship of USA Softball as it rejoins the Olympics, and retail changes at stores around the country to give expand its selection of women’s and girls’ products.
For fiscal 2020, the company says it expects earnings in a range of $3.60 to $4 a share. The company said it is exercising caution on its guidance because of the spreading coronavirus, which is affecting its partners. Market Reaction Dick’s shares rose as much as 14% to $39.14 in New York trading. The stock was down 30% this year through Monday, compared with a 15% decline for the S&P 500 Index.