Boycotts Versus Buycotts

Ed Stack, the anti-gun CEO of Dick’s, said the buycott of his chain really didn’t help his company’s bottom line. However, the boycott of Dick’s by Second Amendment supporters did hurt the company’s finances.

This comes from an interview Stack did with Business Insider.

Dick’s Sporting Goods contended with both boycotts and “buycotts” in the wake of its decision to draw back from the gun business.

But according to CEO Ed Stack, the consumers who gave the company the cold shoulder had a far greater effect on business than any newfound supporters.

The word “boycott” originated with a protest by the Irish Land League against the actions of Captain Charles Boycott 1880. It means withholding your services or financial support as a means of political protest.

“Buycott” is of more recent vintage and means just the opposite. You go out of your way to buy the product or services of a company as a show of support for their political position.

Stack noted that while he appreciated all the support for stopping sales of modern sporting rifles, it was short lived.

“The buycotts were really nice and we appreciated it, but they were kind of short-lived,” Stack told Business Insider.


Stack said that alienated consumers included both hunters and non-hunters who felt “angry” over Dick’s decision to back away from the gun business. All in all, striking guns from the stores ended up costing the company.


“By the time we got done, it was about a quarter of a billion dollars,” Stack said.

It is one of the tenets of sales that it costs more to gain a customer than to keep one. Moreover, the lifetime value of an existing customer far outweighs that of a one-time purchaser. The person who spends $750 on an AR and comes back to you to buy ammo on regular basis is worth more to your company than the mom who drops in once in a blue moon to buy running togs.

Stack should have read Joe Girard’s book How to Sell Anything to Anybody. Joe Girard was the world’s greatest car salesman. He found that the average person has about 250 friends and acquaintances who will show up to your funeral. If you make that person angry by your service or attitude, he or she is likely to influence 250 other people. Unfortunately for Stack, people are more likely to complain than to give kudos and his bottom line proved it.


7 thoughts on “Boycotts Versus Buycotts”

    1. Brings to mind the flak over S&W and Ruger. Never bought any more new guns from them after their political idiocy. Might have to revisit that decision after my move. ( I DID buy a NOS/police trade-in Ruger that Bill wouldn’t sell to the unwashed masses, but they made no money on that. Wish I still had it, but I needed the money)

  1. “By the time we got done, it was about a quarter of a billion dollars,” Stack said.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!
    Thanks for the early christmas present.

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