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Dick's Sporting Goods might stop selling guns. Data shows this won't hurt the chain

6 months ago by Jared Russo in Earnings

One of the largest sellers of firearms and ammunition in the nation, Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DCK), may bite the bullet and cease all sales of guns. According to an interview with CEO Ed Stack, sales numbers of firearms at Dicks aren't up to par, and the company may get out of their sales altogether. Actual numbers on gun sales won't be out until this Thursday's quarterly earnings call, but we're looking ahead to what all of this could mean.

We looked at the possible ramifications of a stop on all firearm sales, and from the data we saw a spike in Twitter follows after Dick's decided to drop assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. That was just two weeks after the tragic Stoneman Douglas shooting back in February 2018, and so far Stack is the only CEO to speak up and do something in lieu of gun violence.

That leads us to believe there isn't going to be a big enough backlash to hurt Dick's, because link sharing was already up-and-down over the last two years.

The biggest takeaway from the data was the same uptick in Facebook likes after the decision to halt assault rifle sales in early 2018, and things have been steady ever since. Whether the positive reaction was couched in the fact Dick's still sells handguns and shotguns still makes us wonder if this will be the start of a trend for other companies (like Walmart, who had its own tragic shooting in a store this month).

It looks like other than this potential pivot in strategy and PR, it's going to be a strong quarter for Dick's by all accounts. We'll let you know if anything drastic happens to them, or the data, as soon as it happens.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jared Russo

Jared is an editor for Thinknum, and has been writing for more than a decade. He previously worked at AOL, Vice, Google, Dotdash, and Sirius XM.

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