News and Commentary

Dick’s Sporting Goods Isn’t Doing Well. You’ll Never Guess Why.

Dick’s Sporting Goods had a rougher-than-expected last quarter with chain-wide sales tumbling 4%, according to CNBC, and the retailer is placing the blame, at least partly, on its own decision to “pull back from the hunting business.”

Part of the problem is Under Armour, which switched its focus earlier this year from large-scale sports retailers to mid-level department stores. Consumers can now buy Under Armour products at stores like Kohl’s, where goods go on sale more often and where consumers can use coupons.

The other half … well … Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack tried to couch it as best he could, but it’s clear that destroying the company’s stock of AR-15s and other assorted “assault rifles” had an impact on Dick’s bottom line.

“As expected, sales were impacted by the strategic decisions we made regarding the slow growth, low margin hunt and electronics businesses, which accounted for nearly half of our comp decline,” Stack said in a statement. “In addition, we experienced continued significant declines in Under Armour sales as a result of their decision to expand distribution.”

Dick’s banned sales of so-called “assault rifles” at its stores and at its sister retailer, Field & Stream. It also banned the sale of “high capacity” magazines and barred the sale of any gun to any customer under 21 years of age. At the time, the company admitted they believed the move could hurt sales, but said that they hoped the change would attract a new breed of Dick’s customer.

The anti-gun crowd must not buy a lot of sporting goods.

It’s interesting to note that Dick’s is actually bucking the trend. Retail sales increased overall last quarter based on improved consumer confidence. The company says it plans to recalculate and remove some of it’s low-margin goods, replacing those items with more profitable products, like baseball gear.