Yesterday we broke the news that Walmart is dropping AR pattern rifles and “personal defense” shotguns from their firearms lineup. Walmart media relations confirmed the decision and told TTAG that the decision was based solely on sales data – no politics or outside pressure. The following is an email we received from a Walmart manager . . .
I work at a $100 million store in Kentucky. We have received zero information about any sort of political motivation. My store manager attended the yearly holiday business meeting in Denver just two weeks ago and stated that ARs and other firearms would be going half off soon due to low sales, which is completely true in east KY anyway. Our prices were outrageous on ARs, while CDNN and others had Colt 6920s for $880 or so, we stood fast at $1,097, $650 Bushmasters for $997. We were told that we would have a shipment coming in of ARs that were not selling in other states, to sell them at the half price mark here.
Other firearms such as “hi cap” shotguns, even Ruger 10/22s with the synthetic stock, went half off as well. The wood stock Ruger and Take down model stayed regular price. Certain hunting shotguns also went half off. The $890 Remington Versa Max was sold at half price for example. H&R pump actions from near $200 were $89.
Also, firearm related items such as many scopes, lights, lasers, etc went half off. I picked up a Surefire x300 Ultra light for $154, we sold them for $297 before this. These related items rarely sold here in extremely gun friendly east KY, so I would imagine they sold even worse elsewhere.
In conclusion, I would imagine that the company bought ARs and other guns at a high cost – my system shows we spent much more than dealer cost – and is just trying to make something back as they were just taking up space. The company goes for sales, and those firearms were generating near zero for the past 6 plus months.
As a proud 2nd Amendment supporter, along with all of the other 14 salaried managers at my store, I would have been 100% outraged if we were dropping certain firearms due to some agenda.
As a side note, I never buy ARs from my store or Walmart in general, not because of the internet legend that they are of a lesser quality (they are the same as shops get, ours come from Sports South), but I prefer to build my own.