Once a proud purveyor of some of America’s deadliest firearms, Dick’s Sporting Goods is now actively lobbying for gun control, according to a recent Retail Dive story.
In February, following the Parkland tragedy, the retailer announced that it was “no longer selling assault-style rifles at any of its 35 Field & Stream stores, that it won’t sell firearms to anyone under 21, [and] is no longer selling high capacity magazines.”
Following that, in April they announced that they “were in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of [the] February 28th policy change.” And now, Dick’s has hired the government affairs firm, Glover Park Group, in an effort to help enact gun control legislation.
In the past, this type of overt political activism could have been a crisis scenario for Dick’s PR department, but because none of the old rules apply anymore in 2018, it’s had no negative impact on their business. “In fact, Dick’s stores saw a 3.7% increase in foot traffic the weekend after the company’s new policies were announced,” backing up the idea that consumers are now “open to seeing political messages from brands.”
Ultimately, it appears that retailers might be the best agents of change in the fight for some semblance of gun control. As the story notes, Dick’s, as well as L.L.Bean, Kroger, REI, and others, are “turning out to have a lot of clout in one of America’s most controversial debates… [and] are so far more effective than policymakers.”
You can read more about it at Retail Dive.