Sixty-two employees quit in protest over Dick’s Sporting Goods’ change in its gun policies earlier this year, Ed Stack, the retailer’s chairman and CEO, said at a Wall Street Journal conference Tuesday. The exits were fewer than anticipated.
Dick’s in February said that it would end all assault-style weapons sales and stop selling guns or ammunition to anyone under 21. The decision came after the school shooting in Parkland, FL
“It was unanimous that we should do this and stand up and take a stand,” said Stack, whose family holds a controlling stake in the retailer, told the conference, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Dick’s, which has 40,000 employees, has indicated the decision is impacting sales as those under 21 aren’t buying guns and some gun enthusiasts have stopped shopping at Dick’s. Dick’s gain reiterated recently that same-store sales will likely decline 3 percent and 4 percent this year, in line with the estimates provided earlier in the year.
“We knew the blowback we would have,” said Stack. “I think CEOs today or companies today have to sit down and they have to say what is the right thing that we should do.”
Stack said Dick’s profits are benefiting by replacing firearms with higher-margin items in some stores, including baseball gear, kayaks and licensed sports gear.