How corrosive is liberalism to basic common sense? So corrosive that it can convince businesses that their primary audience is everyone except the average person who walks into their stores.
Such is the sad spectacle of Dick’s Sporting Goods, which for over a year now has had it in its head that it has to try to appease gun control activists at the expense of the hunters and sportsmen who’ve shopped there for years.
The Wall Street Journal reports that despite the beating Dick’s has already taken, they plan to double down on its current course:
Dick’s has struggled with declining sales since its CEO Ed Stack made a public decision to stop selling guns to buyers under 21 and take assault-style weapons out of all stores after a fatal school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Dick’s is also working to stem sluggish sales as more shoppers buy sporting goods online.
This year Dick’s will remove guns and some hunting gear from 125 locations, after testing the concept in 10 stores last year, Mr. Stack said on a conference call Tuesday. Dick’s had 729 of its namesake locations as of Feb. 2. The space will be used to sell higher-margin, faster-selling categories such as licensed sports gear and outdoor recreation equipment, Mr. Stack said.
Mr. Stack said Dick’s will remove firearms in markets where the hunting category underperforms. In the 10 gun-free test stores, he said, comparable sales rose in the most recent quarter. Overall, the company reported a 2.2% drop in quarterly same-store sales.
Dick’s post-Parkland plan — to stop selling guns that weren’t the murder weapon not because doing so would save a single life, but because they didn’t “want to be a part of this story” (translation: to avoid bad press) — never made sense, and the consequences were obvious.
Employees spoke out, and last December the company even admitted to investors that pandering to gun-grabbers hurt them. So why double down? Because ideology trumps customer desires or business sense. Stack declared in December:
As we put out kind of our guidance for the year and our earnings guidance for the year, we knew this would happen when—we’ve made some decisions on firearms in the past and we’ve had a pretty good idea of what these consequences were going to be. We felt that was absolutely the right thing to do. We would do the same thing again if we had a mulligan, so to speak, to do it again.
On top of that, Dick’s went so far as to hire their own lobbyists for the express purpose of getting new federal gun-control laws enacted.
Now the company claims their latest move is based on nothing more than what’s most profitable in specific markets, but it seems abundantly clear that all that talk is just window-dressing to pretend they aren’t mindless slaves to their leadership’s ideology and the Left’s intimidation tactics. Simply pathetic.
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