Dick’s Turned on Gun Owners. Now They’re Closing Stores
It certainly feels like the Trump era has boosted political awareness and activism. Be honest. How many times have you contacted your Senator or Representative before Trump ran? How many times have you done it since?
The same can be said about political discussions and the general attitude towards governance. We’re all more aware than we used to be. That doesn’t just apply to the citizenry. American businesses are also more political than they used to be, and it has led to some interesting discoveries.
Politics and Retail
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida was tragic. Too many lost their lives, and the nation was forever changed by the event. Many cried. More prayed. Everyone wanted to see change to prevent more tragedy. Instead of channeling that hurt into something productive, too many in our country acted solely on impulse and emotion. Reason and logic were forgotten. As a result, parades marched through Washington. Rage-filled debates degraded into screaming matches. Thankfully, Capitol Hill held it together and didn’t pass emotional legislation. That inaction led many Americans to try and take matters into their own hands.
Dick’s Sporting Goods was among that group. In their attempt to try and prevent further shootings, they decided to make it more difficult to purchase guns at their stores. They stopped carrying a number of popular models, and they raised the purchase age from 18 to 21. It’s unfair to assume motivation on behalf of Dick’s. It’s very likely they believed they were helping.
Despite any good intentions, their actions were an affront to the bulk of their customer base. Outdoorsmen are often also hunters. They don’t take kindly to being told how to view the world. Whether or not Dick’s violated the Constitution has been hotly debated, but it doesn’t really matter for this discussion. They made a decision, and now they have to live with the consequences.
When you ignore your customer base, you face financial repercussions. Dick’s is no exception. Sales dropped virtually the same day that they made their announcement. Their largely conservative group of buyers want nothing to do with a virtue signaling company that doesn’t care about individuals and their rights. As a result, share prices for Dick’s dropped a little over four percent for the year.
Declining sales do more than hurt investors. They also cause stores to close. Just this month, the CEO of Dick’s announced that they are going to have close a number of stores to compensate for the losses. They haven’t announced which stores are on the chopping block yet, but the buzz is that the Field & Stream stores will soon be history.
It’s a shame that Dick’s didn’t consider the well-being of their own employee family when they made a hasty, emotional, political decision. They can’t be stupid enough to believe that their changes would stop a single killing in this country. There are plenty of alternatives for purchasing a gun.
Instead, Dick’s was telling its customers that they should shop elsewhere. Cutting jobs was always the inevitable conclusion. Had their management stopped to think rationally, they might have realized that they were choosing to virtue signal at the cost of employees.
A Trending Problem
This issue isn’t unique to Dick’s. Politics has hurt a lot of companies in 2018. With the tax cuts and thriving economy, the majority of American businesses are doing better than ever. It’s why we’ve seen job numbers, wages and GDP all grow immensely. At the same time, a significant chunk of business has struggled this year. It’s been enough to majorly impact the stock market, and you’ll find a common theme among the struggling companies.
If there is a single industry that has suffered the most this year, it’s tech. Google, Facebook, Apple and other giants have all taken big losses. Like Dick’s, they have all taken strong political stands, and all of their stances are far to the left. They have been suckered in by the mainstream media message that suggests that conservatives are a dying minority. We now know better.
The truth is that money talks. If you compare liberal companies to those who just keep their mouths shut, there’s no contest. The successes and failures of these businesses make it painfully obvious that conservatives are no minority. They hold spending power, and recent elections have also shown that they hold voting power. Don’t ever let the left convince you that you are alone. Dick’s is closing stores because the majority of this country still agrees with you.