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Despite Sales Growth At Stores Without Guns, Dick’s Has No Plans To Pull Them Altogether

Scott Dalton
In this Sept. 19, 2017, file photo, camouflage clothing is offered for sale at a Bass Pro Shops store in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Dick's Sporting Goods announced on Thursday that sales are up at some stores that are no longer selling guns. But the Corapolis-based company said it hasn't made a decision about whether to pull firearms from all its stores.

Last fall, as a test, it pulled 10 stores out of the "hunt business." Those stores would not sell any hunting- related gear, including guns, and instead would increase inventory of more profitable items, like sports jerseys and outerwear. 
Dick's CEO Ed Stack said he wasn't pleased with sales in the quarter that followed that decision, but that sales have since increased.

"We're enthusiastic about the three main categories of our business: apparel, footwear and hardlines," Stack said on a phone conference on Thursday. Hardlines include other sports equipment like helmets and basketball hoops. "Even with the continued deterioration in the hunt business and the firearms business we've been able to make up for that in these other categories."

In March Dick's pulled guns from an additional 125 stores, but the company is not yet sharing sales numbers for those locations. Stack did not share any plans to pull guns out of the remaining 715 Dick's locations. The company also owns Field & Stream, which is focused on hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.

After the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last February left 17 people dead, executives at Dick's ran the confessed shooter's name through the system and discovered that he had purchased a gun from the store. It wasn't the gun used in the shooting, but Stack later said it demonstrated a broken system.

As a result, the stores completely stopped selling the semi-automatic weapon used in the shooting, and now require that all gun purchases be 21 years of age or older.