Dick's Sporting Goods announced Tuesday that it will stop selling guns in more than 100 of its stores.
"We will continue to optimize our assortment, reallocate for space to regionally relevant growing categories and make stores more experiential", said Dick's CEO Ed Stack on the call.
The move comes after Dick's stopped selling guns to customers under the age of 21 in February 2018, after a deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
The company replaced hunting equipment in 10 stores where it had underperformed with "more compelling" products late in the third quarter and said those stores had positive comparable sales in the following three months.
After declining sales of hunting supplies in certain stores, Dick's Sporting Goods is considering no longer selling hunting supplies in select stores.
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The new approach follows a tightening of gun policies that Stack self-imposed in February 2018. It put restrictions on ammunition sales and discontinued the sale of military-style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines.
The new company policy sparked a backlash from gun advocates among its consumers, making the already flagging sector a drag on the retailer.
"Our data show that a lot of hunters and gun enthusiasts have migrated to retailers like Bass Pro and to smaller specialists", wrote Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail.
Same-store sales for the fourth quarter fell 2.2% on a 13-week to 13-week basis. Dick's has over 700 stores in the U.S.
Still, Stack said that if this 125-store move goes well, the company could decide to remove hunting gear from more stores next year. Stack has expressed optimism about Under Armour going forward, and Dick's has now fully exited the electronics business.