Following the announcement that it will remove hunting gear from several of its stores due to low sales, it has been revealed that Dick’s floated the possibility of closing the stores during a retail conference question-and-answer session with Goldman Sachs in September of this year.
Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart, AWR Hawkins reported that Dick’s Chief Financial Officer, Lee Belitsky, clearly expressed that Dick’s would not be building any more Field & Stream stores. CEO Edward Stack upped the ante by offering the option of closing the Field & Stream stores that already exist.
When asked about the viability of the Field & Stream stores following Dick’s gun control decisions made in February of 2018, the transcript of the Goldman Sachs session quotes Stack as responding:
“Well, we've made that decision at the end of February, what we're going to do with firearms. And what we said is, we would not sell any of the assault-style rifles, we wouldn't sell high-capacity magazines. We'd never sold bumps stocks which turn a semiautomatic weapon into basically an automatic weapon, and we wouldn't sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age. So that's in February. It's still a little early to tell.
“So we're taking a look at this. It will depend on a number of things that we're going to be assessing through the balance of this year. So we've had some vendors who've decided based on our decision to not sell the assault-style rifle that was used in the Parkland shooting that they wouldn't sell us any longer. So as you know, there's been some people who said we're not going to sell you any firearms anymore. We're not going to sell you our product. We've had some other people who've indicated that they wouldn't shop with us any longer. So we've got to take a look and we'll assess this through this holiday season, if the brands are going to continue to or not. Some brands are not going to continue to sell us.
“If consumers [are] upset with us, we will make a decision of what we're going to do with Field & Stream. My sense is that we can either take a look at closing that store, that concept or reconceptualizing it into a more of an outdoor type concept and we're taking a look at all of these things and by the end of – the peak of the hunting season is coming up in – and basically, the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter and as we move into the end of the fourth quarter, we'll make a decision as to what we're going to do.”
Doubling down on the decision to impose intra-store gun control, Stack said, “Well I think it's definitely a factor, and it's nothing that we didn't anticipate,” reported The Washington Free Beacon. “As we put out kind of our guidance for the year and our earnings guidance for the year, we knew this would happen when—we've made some decisions on firearms in the past and we've had a pretty good idea of what these consequences were going to be. We felt that was absolutely the right thing to do. We would do the same thing again if we had a mulligan, so to speak, to do it again.”