Finley: Dick’s walks risky line on guns

About the only merchandise Dick’s Sporting Goods sells that you can’t also find on Amazon are guns. And yet the major retailer of athletic and outdoor gear is turning on that captive customer base, throwing its lot in with advocates for tighter gun control laws. Dick’s recently hired three Washington lobbyists — two Democrats and one Republican — to pressure Congress to pass more stringent regulations on guns. The company was sent reeling in February when it was learned the teenaged Parkland, Fla., high school shooter had purchased his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at one of its stores. Dick’s quickly yanked the so-called assault weapons off its shelves in response to pressure from anti-gun groups, and also stopped selling all guns to adults under age 21. CEO Edward Stack told ABC’s Good Morning America, “looking at those (Parkland) kids and those parents, it moved us all unimaginably … we said, ‘we need to do something.’ ” What Stack is doing now goes well beyond selectively limiting gun sales. He may be putting a bullet into his struggling business. Dick’s has been sliding for the past year; the stock price is down nearly 40 percent as competition from online retailers such as Amazon eats deeply into its sales. That’s a familiar story in the retail business. But unlike other brick-and-mortar stores, Dick’s has an edge in that it offers a product not easily purchased over the internet: guns. Pulling the so-called assault rifles left Dick’s with a solid selection of hunting […]

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.