Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. said on Tuesday it will stop selling hunting rifles and ammunition at more than 100 of its stores, replacing the gear with merchandise it believes will sell better at those locations, per the AP. CEO Edward Stack said the move comes after the sporting goods retailer replaced hunting merchandise in 10 of its stores in last year's third quarter; those stores posted strong sales and profit margin numbers in the fourth quarter. The hunting gear will be removed this year from 125 additional stores where it doesn't sell well, he said in a conference call with analysts. It will be replaced with "merchandise categories that can drive growth, each based on the needs of that particular market."
Dick's made headlines in 2018 when, in the aftermath of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it banned the sale of assault-style rifles and the sale of all guns to anyone under 21. The hunting-merchandise announcement came after the report of a dip in fourth-quarter sales and a soft profit forecast that sent Dick's stock tumbling more than 10%. It reported net income of $102.6 million, or $1.07 a share. That was down from $116 million, or $1.11 a share, a year earlier. As of early February, the company operated 729 Dick's Sporting Goods stores across the US. (Read more Dick's Sporting Goods stories.)