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Dick’s CEO Ed Stack, who took over his father’s company, has embraced virtue-signaling as a marketing strategy. Ed’s leadership hasn’t gone well for him, his company or shareholders.

Indeed, as Stack has pursued gun control as a corporate policy to promote his company since the Parkland shooting, competitors have happily taken Dick’s gun, ammo and hunting gear market share.

What is virtue signaling?

[T]he action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue.

Dick’s (along with the company’s Field & Stream stores) has had an on-again, off-again history of selling America’s favorite rifle and many of America’s best-selling magazines. Most recently, they stopped selling all of the above after the Parkland shooting in 2018.

The company also practices age discrimination by refusing to sell any guns or ammunition to those under 21, even when otherwise legal to do so.

TTAG/GSL photo by John Boch

Under Stack’s leadership, the company destroyed their stock of “evil” firearms rather than returning them to manufacturers for credit. What’s more, the chain had a hard time filling all of that now-vacant shelf space.

TTAG/GSL photo by John Boch
TTAG/GSL photo by John Boch
TTAG/GSL photo by John Boch

And publicity left the chain with sagging sales and a dry spell when it comes to customers, too.

TTAG/GSL photo by John Boch

All the while, Dick’s CEO continues to peddle his anti-gun virtue signaling to gun-hating leftists who love to applaud him. “Come shop with us! We don’t sell those evil guns anymore!”

Courtesy Google

Dick’s stock price is up slightly since the Parkland shooting.

Dicks Stack’s latest media appearance?Here he is in his latest media appearance on HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.  Watch him preen for those who dislike guns…

According to Stack, Dick’s decision has cost that company upwards of a quarter billion dollars in sales, but selling America’s most popular rifles was a detriment to the public, in his estimation.

The good news for gun owners? All of those sales went to local gun shops and other retailers who actually support the Second Amendment.

TTAG/GSL photo by John Boch

Competitors like SCHEELS in Springfield, Illinois that hosts monthly Guns Save Life meetings attended by 100-150 gun owners each and every month. Their firearms acquisition manager James Poppenhouse, loves to tell people that SCHEELS sells AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles “because we aren’t Dick’s.”

America’s gun owners know where they aren’t welcome. And there are plenty of other retails who are only too happy to welcome their business.



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  1. There is a new Dicks under construction at the Cape Cod Mall. The mall is already languishing and a Sports Authority across the street folded last year. I’m predicting 2019 won’t be a record setting year for this new store.

  2. BTW, is NSSF still taking their money? They should maybe think of stopping that, lest they be infected by the same “Catholic nun” harbingers of Bloomberg

  3. So I guess he signals bad virtues… or at least virtues not shared by many…

  4. Please avoid Dick’s, Field and Stream and Golf Galaxy. All the same ownership….

    • And it really should be the opposite. Now is the time to buy. I’ve bought more guns while Trump has been been in office (5) then the entire time Obama was president (1).

      • Huh, I too bought more under Trump. I like sales. Best deal was a s&w shield.

        My buying has slowed due to the Cali roster. 🙁

  5. Gee, Ed, did you know that the .30-06 bolt action rifle had its genesis in war, and that it was designed for one purpose–to kill soldiers? As did the 7 mm and a host of other calibers? Gee, Ed, did you ever stop to thing that, as the 4 rules dictate, ALL guns are designed to kill? Do your stores sell 9 mm para bellum? (My local Dick’s doesn’t sell handguns, I don’t know about other stores.) What about the .45 ACP? .308s?


  6. Hypocrite for certain. I think Ed wants to run his companies in to the ground. I wonder , is he maybe the illegitimate father of David Hogg. Well likeminded hoplophobe’s they certainly are. Good news for the mom & pop stores reaping the benefits of Ed’s stupidity. If the name fits , wear it proudly DICK’S !!

  7. Never bought a gun at ANY store like this to begin with. Doesn’t matter what their stance on guns are. Too damn expensive. Find em online or the local stores if need be, which you should never need to.

  8. Little Eddie, pissing away his daddy’s dream, life’s work and legacy, a father couldn’t have a better son.

  9. Just watch their new T.V. ads wherein they brag about all the new shoes, balls and bats they now stock. It seems they have forgotten that many, many general sportsmen are also hunters and fisherpeople. His stockholders and board are going to keep him after a $250,000,000 sales loss? Lot’s of luck fella!

    • Sales do not equal profits. If it cost $260 mil to get that $250 million in sales then they would be better off dumping the business. I believe Dick’s per share earnings have risen so their firearns business was probably a money loser.

    • Yes, his stockholders clearly are going to put up with it. The share value has risen. The reality is that this guy has almost doubled per share value. He likely got a hell of a bonus.

      • It is complex. This TTAG piece makes it seem like Dicks is showing hurt when share value is in fact up.
        Dicks has long term problems but it doesn’t have much to do with selling guns or not since this was probably marginal at best contribution to their picture anyway. Their position on guns, ammo, archery stuff, hunting stuff and associated supplies and accessories had to do with drawing in customers. Once they were subject to a focused campaign by the antis, the negative probably looked to outweigh the positives. I think they are wrong on that. I coach three different public sports leagues a year and I will not set foot in a dicks store. Not so much because they removed guns, that is their business, but because of their loud virtue signaling and their use of dollars we spend their for paid lobbying support of legislation that would prohibit 18-20 year olds from even possessing a skeet gun.

        Dicks had done well for only one reason and that reason is fleeting: bricks and mortar sporting goods box chains killed all the small independent sporting goods, footwear stores, running stores etc and then the chain box stores duked it out and dicks was last standing. Last man standing made them very profitable. But just as they disrupted they are now mortally threatened by amazon.

        They have clearly identified that the hardest for amazon to take away is women’s athletic clothing. Women want to try on clothes. I can’t think of anything else that one can’t buy on amazon cheaper and have it at the door in one day.

        If you look at demographics on gun control attitudes the sharpest dividing line is GENDER. DSGs onlybgrowth and likely to remain customer base is women

  10. I think Stack had decided to get out of the gun business before Parkland. It didn’t generate enough profit to put up with the ATF regulations. So along comes Parkland and he sees a marketing opportunity. strike a woke pose and voila, he replaces the revenue. Just because part two didn’t happen doesn’t mean he failed. The buycotters were just a bonus. He would have dropped out of the market anyway.

  11. Would not mind at all if Dick’s goes under.

    They opened one near me around 15 years ago and I went in for some Winchester .38 Special ammo on a Grand Opening sale. They did not have it, never had it. So the guy at the gun counter offered me Remington at the same price and I took him up on it. I also bought some targets.

    That’s it. Since then they’ve never had a sale price that couldn’t be beat elsewhere, or they just never had anything I wanted anyway. When they pulled this anti-civil rights crap, that sealed it for me and I stopped even looking at their ads. But can’t say they were getting my money anyway.

    These sort of stores (Cabelas, Bass Pro, Sportsmans Warehouse, others) can have good gun buys but never as a regular price. Has to be a sale.

  12. I’d say 95% of my firearms I bought from my LGS, the other 5% would be between friends. Only things I’ve bought from a big box is a few cleaning supplies and some paper targets, not even ammo now that I think of it.

  13. Dicks Ed, Dicks Ed, Dicks Ed, DicksEd, DicksEd, DicksEd , Dickshead all sorts of start to run together if a possum says it real fast

  14. Been to Dick’s mebbe 4 times. Pathetic selection but even worse customer service. Cabela’s is miles better but they’re S L O W…Dick’s SUX!

  15. Never bought much gun stuff there. Too Fuddy and expensive. But I used to buy tons of fishing gear from them and they lost all of that with their anti gun crap. We have Bass Pro not too far away and Cabellas a little further. There is a Dunham’s nearby, but they are a tad expensive, as are the local gun shops. We stopped going to Wal Mart because of their anti gun crap about the same time as Dick’s and I really don’t miss either one.

  16. Ok, someone with a better knowledge of business law chime in. As CEO doesn’t Stack have a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders? It seems to me that wantonly destroying corporate assets would NOT be in the best financial interests of the corporation and shareholders. Could shareholders sue over this. Any laws broken here?

    • Why bother? I could go out into the parking lot and stare at the ground and get no less assistance from the sales staff. Their customer service model is strictly Kiev circa 1932.

  17. So, realistically, how many lives have Dick’s saved so far?

    If you’re going to a store like that, Academy Sports has better prices anyway.

  18. It’s tough to boycott somebody when they can’t be bothered to sell you anything in the first place.

    It’s easier to get Alexandria Taco-Rosado to talk sense than to get somebody’s attention at DICK’S.

  19. I’m happy to report that the Dick’s in Yorkville, IL has closed. Noticed it about a month ago. Bravo.

  20. I only shopped Dick’s door buster specials on 22 Rimfire ammo on Black Friday and around Christmas time. Rimfire ammo was hard time get in any quality in the Obama administration years. So that is the ONLY time I ever shopped at Dick’s. I doubt they made much mark-up on that “Door Buster” ammo sales. So I used them to get what I wanted, but never spent any money on thier overpriced guns and other ammo. Besides a person couldn’t get anyone to help you at the gun counter anyway. Terrible customer service. And my local store in Oregon NEVER sold handguns, since it opened. As far as I am concerned, I hope Dick’s go bankrupt, and the CEO pisses away his Father’s fortune! Serves him right his stupid politically charged anti second amendment rights position.

  21. I guess to be totally responsible to his community he will sell marijuana instead of firearms.

  22. That’s great news about the Yorkville, IL, Dick’s store closing. I can’t hardly believe that the Stockholders and Board of Directors are will to put up with the CEO’s BS on not selling AR-15 type rifles, and ammo..The point is, and other bloggers have pointed this out, that many other Modern Sporting Rifles, such as the Bolt Action 30-06, one of the best selling and popular hunting rifles of all time, is a product of a “Weapon of War”, ( WWI , WWII, ). As are most all other rifles, 7mm, and 308 Winchester, ( 7.62×51), come to mind.

  23. I would like to interject a positive comment about the last pic in the article.
    That SCHEELS store in Springfield, Illinois is worth a drive to visit. It is simply outstanding. I have found the staff to be very pleasant & helpful. Like, old school helpful. The firearm dept on the second floor is stocked like few other stores I have ever been in. You almost have to go to a gun show to get that broad of selection not only in firearms, but in ammo, accessories and clothing. And their “collectibles” gun room of used firearms for sale has made my palms sweat a few times. But, a big number of square feet of retail conversely equals a big number for debt service… thus, higher prices.
    But I have dropped coin there as my way of saying “thanks” and that I appreciate their commitment and investment.

    • Scheel’s is building a SuperMegaStore here in the Dallas Area and I can’t wait to spend my hard earned cash there and not have to give any more money to Cabela’s. Spent a lot of money there till Bass Pro Shops totally ruined it after taking over. No to Dicks, No to Bass Pro Shops, No to Cabela’s. Yes to Academy Yes to Scheels, and Yes to My LGS.

    • Just dropped some $$ in that collectibles room a couple weeks ago. Nice old S&W model 48, and a Colt Agent. 6 months interest free with their VISA when you spend $500, good prices to boot.

    • It’s my understanding that do NOT carry any debt as a company. They will not build a store untill they have cash in hand. What they do spend money on however, is tons of pro 2A activities and several free trap shoots etc per year. They will even purchase ammo and stuff from small lgs in the area to spread the wealth. If you buy from a big box store (I buy all my weapons from my buddies table top ffl or face to face), this is by far the best place to do it!

  24. Darkstar makes some very interesting points. Seems like Business suicide, to me, however the small Mom and Pop gun stores in my area are laughing all the way to the bank, as a result of CEO Stacks decision to not sell many Modern Sporting Firearms. And the topper was his decision to destroy, rather than receive credit , for the guns returned to wholesalers and Manufacturers. That publicity stunt cost his company and Stockholders, ( must be all Liberal’s), a Quarter of a Billion dollars in lost sales. Just not good business sence.

  25. Dick Stack, Ed’s father, had two stores. Ed has 850. Dick did not want to expand, Ed did, so Ed bought his dad out. So claiming that “Dick’s CEO Ed Stack, . . . took over his father’s company” is utterly preposterous.

  26. One y’all FOWG’s should lend Dick a viagra see if he can get back up

  27. We have 2 here in our north Alabama city; both of them being fairly (few years old) new. Both are pretty much deserted every time I drive by.

  28. Shortly after “Dicks” quit selling guns, ( most notably AR 15’s) , the Dicks near me closed and the building / store front became a “Fin, Feather, and Fur” Opened and they have a HUGE firearms department, with dozens of AR 15’s. Made me laugh.

  29. Dicks is dead to me. I’ll never set foot in one again. Cabelas after being bought by BAss Pro is on life support to me. They have nothing I want or need that I can’t get delivered to my door or to my LGS 5 miles away from my door.

  30. I am proud to have been one of many patriots who closed the doors on our local Dirty Dick’s in Springfield OH, after their CEO lost his mind. It made me proud to watch their sign taken down, never to be raised again in our town. He who has the gold has the rule.

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