dick's sporting goods gun sales hunting gear down
Throngs of customers stocking up on guns and gear at an Illinois Dick's store
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Truly disturbing, baffling news from one of the nation’s biggest gun retailers…wait, no it isn’t.

Sales at Dick’s Sporting Goods dropped in the past three months amid backlash against tighter gun-sale restrictions following a mass killing early this year at a Florida high school.

Revenue dipped 4.5 percent to $1.86 billion amid challenges in the company’s hunting business during the quarter through Nov. 3. Sales at stores open at least 12 months – a key metric for the retail industry – fell 6.1 percent compared to the prior year.

Remember when Dick’s head honcho said axing scary black rifles, forsaking gun customers under 21 years old, and funding gun control lobbyists would actually be good for business?

While Chief Executive Officer Edward Stack previously said the firearms policy brought in new customers and sales were reported as flat in August, Dick’s has now warned that “negative reaction” could affect future results.

Bummer. It’s almost as if America’s gun owners (and a good number of companies that make firearms) are only too happy to take their business elsewhere. According to the Wall Street Journal . . .

Sales at existing stores and websites fell 3.9% for the three-month period ended Nov. 3., driven down by weakness in the company’s hunting and electronic departments, executives said in a conference call with analysts yesterday.

So now, with gun buyers and hunters staying away in droves, the galaxy brain who guides Dick’s and Field & Stream stores is experimenting with ditching the hunting gear business altogether.

The jury is still out as to whether Dick’s Sporting Goods will extend a controversial move to clear hunting supplies from its stores, including shotguns, ammunition, cross bows and rifle scopes.

The retailer, which stopped selling assault rifles earlier in the year, in late August said it would also rid 10 Dick’s stores of “virtually all” hunting items. The stores involved were those where hunting sales had fared the most poorly.

“We’ll have to wait and see how the 10-store test does,” CEO Edward Stack said during an earnings call Wednesday.

While announcing the news yesterday, Dick’s CFO tried to blame some of the drop in sales on general softness in the gun business.

“Sales continue to be negatively impacted by double-digit declines in hunt and electronics,” CFO Lee Belitsky said. “Specific to hunt, in addition to the strategic decisions we made regarding firearms earlier this year, the broader industry has decelerated and remains weak, as evidenced by most recent background-check data” for firearms purchases

Never mind that we’re on pace for 2018 to be the third highest year for NICS checks ever.

So with the anti-gun backlash really starting to hurt Dick’s (and their laughable plan to sell smart guns nothing more than half-baked PR pablum), where are you buying all of your hunting gear and guns?

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  1. They haven’t sold “assault” rifles since 2013. Dick’s sux. Their ”service” was their worst feature…

    • Yeah, I agree. I am one of those who took my Dick…ah, I mean Dick’s business elsewhere a long time ago…

    • I stopped shopping there when the guy behind the gun counter tried to adamantly correct my request for .41 magnum ammunition to .44. He was very sure .41 wasn’t a thing. Awesome service.

      • I had the same thing happen at an auto parts store back in the 70s. The man at the counter swore up, down, and sideways that there was no such a thing as a Chevy 348 CID V8, therefore there was no way he could sell me parts for it.
        Luckily, back in those days, idiots were not so cocksure that they know everything in the world, the way so many are now. I just had to tell him about three times to just go look it up in the parts books. He had about 15 feet of books bolted to the counter, why not use them? Put that way, he did go look it up… grudgingly. The only thing he said when he found out it does exist was “I’ll be damned”. He’s dead now, so perhaps he ended up damned to wherever damn fools go. Either way I got my parts.
        But that was a man known to me to be an idiot. Thus my repetition to “just go look it up”. He was a one off. Just force him back onto the rails and he would continue down his known track as if no derailment occurred. For some reason, the damn fools sure seem a lot more prevalent today.

    • Maybe some stores, but their Fair Lakes store in Fairfax, VA had a AR style SR-762 on the shelf less than a year ago.

  2. I can’t believe their new policies had too much of an effect. Did anyone here ever shop for gun stuff at Dicks regularly? From my experience they are undersupplied, overpriced, and unknowledgeable. I imagine the only people who ever shopped for firearms & supplies at Dicks are non-potg who don’t follow or care about 2a issues or boycotting anyway. I’ve only been to a handful of dicks in one area of the country so I could be way off but that’s the impression I got. I’ve never even seen a customer a gun counter at a dicks ever.

    • “From my experience they are undersupplied, overpriced, and unknowledgeable”

      *Nods in agreement*

      I never saw a firearm at Dick’s I couldn’t find at a LGS for a better price, and I found a lot of items at my LGS that you’d never see at Dick’s.

    • I never bought any gun stuff there but their policies convinced me not to buy anything else there either!

    • I used to buy stuff for the kids there – baseball gear and the like. Now I will go somewhere else due to their dickish anti-gun stance.

      I never bought gun stuff there – and I respect their right to sell whatever they want (or not) – but the very public statements on firearms politics and donations to anti-gun groups put them on my personal boycott list.

      • There is a large overlap between guns, goolf and fishing. Going anti-gun affects more than gun and hunting sales. I stopped buying shoes and golf gear after they went anti-gun.

      • I think your decision, like mine, will do Dick’s more harm than simply not buying guns from them.
        Even though REI is pretty much anti hunting and fishing, they do have a few camping things that I can’t find elsewhere so I was going there about every two years. Then a friend of mine at the range told me he went there to buy some USGS 1:63,360 maps of the area he was going hunting. The young commune girl asked him at the register where he was going camping and he said it was a hunting/camping trip and he told her where on the maps he wanted to go… he was pretty excited about his upcoming hunt. As soon as she heard the word hunt she put the maps under the counter and said she would not sell them to him. He laughed and went to the USGS office in Anchorage and bought the same maps cheaper. He doesn’t go there either anymore. These employees are going to die when the power goes out because they have no sense of reality.

        • I’ve found alternatives around REI and Dick’s. Before I shopped at REI to support then instead of buying online. Now… I’m ok with online. 😉

    • Dick’s has Soviet levels of customer service. I’ve gone to their gun counter and had somebody at the fishing counter stare at me for twenty minutes without helping me or summoning somebody else. I stopped an employee for assistance. Nobody came. I actually left, went to Walmart, came back and asked ANOTHER employee for help without getting any. It still took a good twenty minutes to be told they didn’t have what I needed.

  3. That photo looks like a Gander Mountain to me. The Dicks in North Florida never had that much space dedicated to firearms anything.

    But I could be wrong.

    • It’s probably a Field & Stream store that is owned by Dick’s. If Dick’s management is just going to double down on their anti-gun idiocy, I’m guessing the F&S stores aren’t going to be around much longer. The article didn’t make any distinctions between the overall performance of the company and the performance of the Dick’s vs. F&S branded stores.

    • Same.

      If I need gym sneakers, gym shorts, under armour shirts, etc, I’m going elsewhere. I scanned through Black Friday ads, I didn’t even look dick’s for a second, saw the store name on the ad and threw it in the recycling bin.

      I look forward to dicks going out of business and stack to drop dead

  4. My experience has been that trying to replace one set of customers with another set always results in losing one group long term and doesn’t always mean gaining the new group long term.

    Dicks thinks I’m of poor moral character for owning an AR/AK/Whatever? No problem, I’ll shop elsewhere. I won’t even go there for a ping pong ball.

    The fat blue haired feminist who doesn’t play sports or go camping that you hope to replace me with? She might appreciate that you’re “woke” and stop in and buy a flashlight or something, but she’ll be looking for the next Trump hater and won’t be a long term customer. Not to mention she’ll probably want you to drop the rest of your guns goo

    • All businesses struggle to gain more customers. Being political means:
      1/3rd of people like your decision, but will they buy enough tennis rackets, running shoes, and other stuff to complensate?
      1/3rd of people just won’t care.
      1/3rd of people will be pissed off and be lost customers.

      A bunch of businesses I used to spend money at went political, I’m tired of vendors trying to make me think while ignoring certain evidence.

  5. I am frankly amazed that most of these brick and mortar non specialty stores can survive period.

    We had a Gander Mtn that closed for a year, remodeled and reopened under the Gander Outdoors brand….guess how many things I’ve bought from either in the past five years. What amazes me is that a bunch of suits can sit around and think that doing the exact same thing they’ve been doing all along is going to somehow change the headwinds?

    Renegotiating leases and vendor terms isn’t going to keep you afloat and you can only sell so many overpriced hoodies from underarmor and coolers from Yeti.

    I don’t get it. Gander, Cabelas, Dicks, Bass, Scheels – do we all really need that many bags of jerky or overpriced fishing lures?

  6. Got a Dick’s ad for Black Friday. Had zero gun anything in it. I think they’re starting already.

    • The Dick’s in my city had Tactical 12 Gauge Assault Shotguns with skeery stickee down handles in the newspaper flyer for $199.00. I have no idea where the store is, I don’t recall ever seeing it.

      I buy most of my FFL required stuff from Primary Arms, they’re cheap, competent and right on the way to my flea ranch.

  7. Ah, poetic justice and how many months straight they lost money. I hope at the next shareholder meeting the deep six his dumb ass.

  8. I used to be a customer at Dick’s. They had decent prices and were convenient. Not just guns but fishing tackle, clothing, golf equipment, boots, even bought a bicycle there. They lost me a few years ago when their leftist leanings were becoming obvious. My wife doesn’t go there anymore either. And other conservatives and gun people that I know are shunning the place also. To any business that sucks up to leftist ideology, you deserve to crash and burn with everybody onboard. Leftists are not your friends and when you buddy up with them you stab the rest of us in the back.

      • Stores should not try to pursue netrality. They are supposed to pursue profit. That’s what capitalism and a free market economy are about. But leftists have another plan. It’s not profit or a free market. It’s about power. They don’t believe in profits. They think the economy works better and provides a better life for more people when they control it. No free market economy here. That’s why it’s not in the long term interest of any retail company to stay neutral or support the left. The left is their mortal enemy.

    • Yep, let the leftists support and buy your outdoor, hunting and fishing equipment. Put all that money in one hand and crap in the other and see which one fills up first.

    • I walked in there just once years ago. The firearms dept. smelled of Fudd and Axe cologne. There was no clerk in sight. There was nothing semi-auto behind the counter. There were no handguns or ammo for handguns. I turned and walked out.

  9. Dick’s (DKS) stock price is up about 19% over last year. While that is very, very good, it is significantly lower that it was just a few months ago. Most of the analysts are saying Dicks’ stock is a good buy or at least not to sell it. The bottom line is that their revenue, although down, is still higher than their primary competitors, and their stock is much better than most others in their space. Their CEO will likely get a very hefty bonus.

    • Dick’s same store sales have been down for about the last eight quarters. Revenues are up because Dick’s continues to open new stores.

    • Who are their competitors? Their equivalent here, Sports Authority, went out of business. There are lots of smaller (physically and economically) stores that compete for a portion of theit business, but there are few places that offer baseball, camping, weights, running, skiing, golf, hunting. Big 5 has the variety, but its not much bigger than Wal Mart’s sporting goods department. Scheels seems comparable in variety and store size, but there are so many fewer stores.

      • Here in the Midwest, Dunham’s Sports stores are nearly indistinguishable from Dick’s – with one exception: Dunham’s sells all kinds of evil black rifles, at I’ve-seen-worse sale prices. ORC carbines for $400, AR-10’s for $600, and all the popular handguns you could wish for.

        Sure, I’ve seen better prices online, but I’ve also seen higher sale prices at LGS. Needless to say, I’ll shop Dunham’s if necessary, but definitely won’t shop at Dick’s!

  10. Were firearm and hunting equipment sales down about 6% at most other retailers? I’ll bet they were for the same four reasons that they dipped at Dick’s Sporting Goods:
    (1) The number of people who hunt is steadily declining every year. This trend has been happening for something like 30 to 40 years. Fewer participants in a hobby means fewer customers which usually means fewer sales.
    (2) People who flocked to gun stores in droves to purchase firearms between 2007 and 2016 (in response to the political landscape) are not in a rush to purchase more firearms.
    (3) The concealed carry surge between 2005 and 2017 has to be slowing down at this point.
    (4) Now that the Great Ammunition Drought of 2013 to 2017 is over, people are no longer running to retailers to stock-up on ammunition.

    Am I wrong? I don’t believe so.

  11. What I read in the CFO’s statement. Our sales are down due to a falloff of gun sales. Never mind that we really don’t sell guns.

  12. In response to the specific question of this post, I no longer shop at Dick’s. I purchase firearms and ammunition from local gun stores and regional sporting goods retailers.

  13. I like cabelas. 5 percent vet discount. Free shipping in store. No stupid fucking policy issues.
    Haven’t been to dicks since they opened their big mouths.

    • Nope. Cabelas ended all discounts for veterans and public Safety (Hometown Hero days) after Bass Proshops bought them. They also ended discounts for their employees.

      Additionally, Cabelas jacked up their firearm prices even more and eliminated all firearms from Black Friday drawings and firearms donations to charity drawings.

      Cabelas also eliminated NRA posters from their stores and NRA membership pamphlets from firearm purchases.

      Bass Proshops is just about as bad as Dicks on firearms they just done scream about it.

      • That’s just not true..not a lie just wrong! Bass pro gives 5% discount to veterans and always supports NRA, I renewed my membership there two weeks ago, from a NRA rep setup to do so…do your research before posting! Words matter…

  14. When it doesn’t work double down on stupid. Just like Colorado Democrats will do next year. Majority of voters in Colorado hate Trump so they voted a straight D (DUMMY) ticket. 2013 all over again.

  15. They might as well just ax the whole shooting/hunting department in their stores. Dedicate that space for whatever stretchy/spandex workout clothes that the soccer moms are wearing at the time.

  16. Mayhaps people will begin to understand how many gun owners there are in this country and what their influence can be. If every gun owner would join the NRA it would be the largest political bloc any of these Democraps ever dealt with. I will bet that the percentage of shooters who actually shopped at Dick’s in the past is relatively small. They didn’t have very many really knowledge shooters on staff.

  17. If they’re still in business, then it hasn’t had NEARLY enough effect on them yet. We should be picketing out front and DRIVING fudds and snowflakes away. Why are we not putting signs in the yard of Chief Executive Officer Edward Stack that say, “I’m unarmed! Also, I hate the Constitution. Come Dick with me”? Get busy posting his address.

  18. “Can we go to Dicks to look at soccer, bike, stuff?” Yes, while I look at gun stuff.
    Now the answer would be no. I will drive a bit further to Academy.

    Field and Stream was nice when it opened, They did not stay open long in Cary NC.
    Very bad business model. Going out of business soon.

  19. They regularly have 9mm ammo priced at least $3 per box higher than anywhere else. They lost me then, and they’re not getting me back.

  20. Any business owner or chief executive who gets publicly involved in politics is going to lose business, maybe a lot of business. Such folks have shit-fer-brains. All those restaurants and stores with BETO signs will never get another dime of my business. If someone invites me out to one of those places, I tell them I got projectile diarrhea last time I ate there.

  21. I have not been to Dickhead Dick’s since 2002.
    An employee was rude to me and his manager acted like it was no big deal
    so I ceased buying from Dickhead Dick’s.

    Field and Stream is owned by the above named so they have never seen me grace their store.

    I spend a couple grand a month on shooting supplies and shop online.
    Best CS I have ever had.

  22. How do they stay in business when they charge full msrp for everything in the store?
    Every single item is cheaper off the net even factoring in shipping charges.
    I used to go there to buy lacrosse balls or skate protective gear for the kids.
    Now I refuse to shop there because of their anti gun stance.
    I don’t get how taking a political stance can help any retailer.
    Why not just stay neutral in the culture wars?

  23. when i was 18 i bought a couple of rifles from dicks, but only because i didn’t know we even had a local gun shop. i bet a fair part of their customers were first time buyers under 21. before they went anti 2a ywars ago i used to buy fishing tackle there as well as the prices were ok and it was on the way to the lake but i stopped doing that around 2013 after all the anti 2a stuff started

  24. The gun issue is there but probably small. They’re a retail business in a market where everything can be bought more cheaply online. They would like to be REI but REI already exists, so that’s out.

  25. Personally I think there’s more to this.

    Yes, Dick’s royally screwed up with their “in store gun control” initiative. However, they have other problems.

    First, I’ve never been to a Dick’s that had what I would call a “good selection” of guns. On top of that, as another poster points out they have some seriously shitty service in their gun departments.

    But that doesn’t explain soft sales in other hunting gear. However, the fact that, IME, 75% of their hunting gear is Under Armor does explain this. Remember UA dropping those professional hunters and all the videos of people burning their UA stuff? I doubt those people ran back out to buy more UA gear. Plus UA is comparatively expensive compared to a lot of other basic hunting gear. Someone out to feed their family with gramp’s hunting rifle probably can’t afford/justify buying UA.

    On top of that the other selections of hunting gear and accessories suck. Dick’s, again IME, never has a good selection of ammo and when they do it’s overpriced as fuck. The same can be said for arrows, bolts, optics, tools… hell even their fishing tackle and golf stuff is rediculously priced in a lot of cases.

    Dick’s also falls down on selection. MMA/martial arts gear? Not much. Swim goggles? Only for like six weeks a year, over priced and a limited selection.

    On top of all that their sales staff are, IME, terrible. If you ask them for something they often don’t know WHAT it is never mind if they carry it or where it would be in the store.

    So far as I can tell their main areas that are well stocked and have rational/smart staff (shoes, general athletic clothing, sports team gear) put them in direct competition with a ton of other retailers that do a better job at a better price.

  26. Instead of ditching hunting gear perhaps they should ditch their CEO, antigun lobbyist and beg forgiveness from the civilized world.

  27. Raising the minimum age for buying a rifle to 21 was a genius move. Force your potential new young customers to go and investigate the competition for their first purchases. Brilliant!

  28. I really know very little about dicks I have not been in their stores since they took their stand on guns.
    I did like their stores but Gander and Cabela’s is where I shop now.

  29. Dropping all hunting gear makes sense. If hunters aren’t going to buy there, why spend money on inventory you’re not going to sell?
    The other choice would be to try to attract more hunters, but the CEO isn’t going to reverse his political decisions, and he owns too much to be pushed out. Ed’s Dad was the founder of the company, and he now controls a majority of the voting stock. Even a shareholder lawsuit wouldn’t change anything.

  30. My daughter needs bigger bicycle now. Guess where we are not going to shop for it.
    Dick’s is dead to me.

    My nearest Cabela’s is in Cook county, so I will buy most of my shooting stuff there, except any ammo because of the extra tax.

  31. Las time I was in a Dick store (12 Years ago) asked if they carried a certain kind of Brass? Smart ass answered what you see is what you get! OK guess they don’t want my reloading Money! Walked over too the Gun Counter eyeballing the firearms and listen to a sale’s pitch a clerk was giving too customer about a Black rifle which could shoot a bazillion meters, thread the needle on a 2/0 needle, shot homing bullets , could not miss etc. etc Good bye Dicks, I tend too be a BS artist but it was a bit much.

  32. I don’t know if Dick’s troubles are due to their anti-gun policies or not. I tried them when they first opened a store near me and was disappointed in selection and prices. They did not carry handguns. There was too limited a section on accessories, reloading and the like. A sale on Winchester white box ammo was the “brick and mortar” store version of click bait, the salesman admitted they’d only had a small quantity and it sold out in minutes. I was obviously pissed about it and the salesman offered me Remington ammo at the same price and quantity, so I took it.

    But even that gets them no customer loyalty. The prices were never competitive after that big grand opening sale. Could always do better pretty much everywhere else.

    Then along came the big scary black rifle BS and that only reinforces my choice to never set foot in a Dick’s.

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