Sales are down at Dick’s Sporting Goods following its decision to stop selling guns to people under age 21, according to the company’s third quarter report. The decision came after the Parkland school shooting on Valentine’s Day. The massacre also led to a company decision to stop selling assault weapons at its 35 Field & Stream locations, which specialize in hunting and outdoor goods. Assault weapons had already been removed from Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2012 following a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
A CNBC analysis revealed that 2019 sales growth is expected to be less than 1 percent, despite growth averaging 2.1 percent from 2011 to 2015. In addition to that, inventories rose by 1 percent in the third quarter. A simple supply and demand analysis demonstrates that it’s not looking good for Dick’s: there is higher supply and lower demand.
USA Today reported Lee Bolitsky, DICK’S chief financial officer told investors he could trace the problem back to the company’s decision on guns, but also pointed out that the “broader industry has decelerated and remains weak as evidenced by most recent national background check data.”
The Daily Wire hilariously calls this phenomenon “Get Woke, Go Broke.” Indeed, it is perhaps the most accurate way to describe Dick’s Sporting Goods’ fate. Companies taking political stances in an attempt to score consumer points is a dangerous endeavor to embark on. It necessarily alienates certain groups. No company should strive to do that if it can avoid taking a political position.
While the political climate in large cities may appear overwhelmingly skewed to one side, it is wrong to assign an opinion to the entire country. With Dick’s making a decision based on the calls of politicians and citizens in urban areas, it told middle America that it does not value their opinion or sales. Middle America responded.