Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- –Dick's Sporting Goods is reaping the results of entering politics as a corporate entity.
The purpose of public corporations is to make money for their stockholders. Fortunately, over half of Americans own stock. If you want some corporate profits, add stocks or an index fund to your 401k or other retirement accounts.
When corporations move away from their basic purpose, and into the political realm, they cannot help by alienate some potential customers. When you reduce potential customers, you reduce profits.
Dick's Sporting Goods decided to alienate a significant number of potential customers. They decided to take sides in an acrimonious political debate. They decided to stop carrying certain rifles in their stores, for purely political reasons. They decided to stop selling rifles and shotguns to an entire age group: 18, 19, and 20-year-old people.
There are about 80-100 million gun owners in the United States. Gun owners, as a group, have somewhat higher incomes than people who do not own guns. The political decision to alienate such a large group of potential customers has taken its toll. From foxbusiness.com:
The embattled sports retailer reported a same-store sales decline of 4 percent compared to the same period one year earlier, or about 1.9 percent when not accounting for the 53rd week in the year. For the full year, Dick’s expects same-store sales to fall by 3 percent to 4 percent, compared to a 0.3 percent decline last year.
“We delivered double digit growth in ecommerce, private brands, and athletic apparel excluding Under Armour, however, as expected, sales were impacted by the strategic decisions we made regarding the slow growth, low margin [hunting] and electronics businesses, which accounted for nearly half of our comp decline,” Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack said in a press release.
Dick’s executives had previously warned that the company’s hunting business would suffer as a result of a decision to stop selling assault rifles at stores. The company discontinued sales of rifles and enacted a 21-and-over age limit on all firearm sales after a deadly shooting at a Florida high school left 17 dead last February.
It was bad enough that Dick's stepped into the middle of a heated political debate. But they decided to do so even though a large number of their customers were certain to object to the side they took. There is no evidence that non-gunowners felt particularly strongly about their decision.
It might make sense to pick sides in a political debate if you know that your customers agree with you. When Taurus Firearms offers a free NRA membership with the sale of its firearms, it is likely to attract customers. Smith & Wesson went bankrupt when it picked sides against Second Amendment supporters by cutting a special deal with the Clinton administration.
In general, picking political sides is bad for business. Better to stay neutral and keep focused on your primary purpose: making money.
Second Amendment supporters have long memories. They see evidence everyday of long running efforts to destroy their culture and to disarm them, or failing that, disarming their children or grandchildren.
Second Amendment supporters are organized. They have their own communications networks, publications, and media. It does not pay for major corporations to say they do not care about them.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.