Last February, when Dick’s Sporting Goods boss Ed Stack announced he was restricting gun sales at the country’s largest sports retailer, he knew it’d be costly, according to our newspaper partners The Longview News Journal.
At the time, Dick’s was a major seller of firearms. Guns also drove the sale of soft goods-boots, hats, jackets. What’s more, Stack, the retailer’s chief executive officer, suspected the position could drive off some of his customers on political principle. He was right.
Dick’s estimates the policy change cost the company about $150 million in lost sales, an amount equivalent to 1.7 percent of annual revenue. Stack says it was worth it.
“The system does not work,” Stack said. “It’s important that when you know there’s something that’s not working, and it’s to the detriment of the public, you have to stand up.”
The 2018 school massacre at Parkland, Florida, touched a nerve for the company. Nikolas Cruz, the shooter, had legally purchased a shotgun from Dick’s a few months before the attack. A day after Cruz was arrested, police in Vermont apprehended a teenager with plans to shoot up his high school. He, too, had legally purchased a shotgun from Dick’s.