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.

DICK’S Ed Stack On CBS Sunday Morning

When CBS Sunday Morning was announcing their stories this morning, I must admit I rolled my eyes when I heard they were interviewing Ed Stack of DICK’S. Thanks to Dianna Muller, it was more balanced than I anticipated.

The story had interviews by CBS’s Lee Cowan with Stack, Dianna Muller, and Michael Bloomberg. Dianna provided a great counter-point to Stack and Bloomberg. It should be noted that Stack is pushing his new book, It’s How We Plan the Game, which is being published by another division of the company that owns CBS.

Then there was this quote that must have executives with NSSF thinking someone is finally getting the language right:

The “it” he’s talking about is the AR-15, a lightweight semi-automatic modern sporting rifle similar to the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre. He ordered all of them be removed from every Dick’s Sporting Goods store across the country.

While Cowan did link it to the Newtown murders, he didn’t call it an “assault weapon” or “assault rifle”. That in and of itself is remarkable nowadays.

His interview with Dianna was quite good. As you can see if you watch the video, it included footage of her shooting as well as other women from A Girl and A Gun at an event in Kentucky.

When asked why she has an AR-15, she said this:

Muller has become a high-profile spokesperson for the gun rights movement. She’s testified on Capitol Hill about carrying a firearm, specifically an AR-15.  


That’s the very rifle that Dick’s is no longer selling.


Cowan asked, “Is it a fair question to ask why you need a gun like that?”


“No,” Muller replied.


“Because?


“This rifle, and any other rifle, kills fewer people than hammers and blunt objects every year, according to FBI statistics,” she said, “so it doesn’t make any sense to me that this is going to solve the problem that we are having.”


Her worry is the same that the National Rifle Association has voiced for a long time: if one gun like the AR-15 is demonized, then all guns may soon follow.


“It leads me to believe that there’s going to be another tragedy with a different gun, that they’re going to come after the next gun,” she said.


“This is the slippery slope?” Cowan asked.


“Until it’s all gone.”

The story ends with Stack being somewhat coy about his future plans for firearm sales at DICK’S. He said it was under “strategic review.” As I noted on Friday, his company is selling eight of their Field & Stream stores to Sportsman’s Warehouse. I would not be surprised to see the remainder either sold or shut down.

DICK’S To Sell 8 Field & Stream Stores

The anti-rights policies of Dick’s Sporting Goods are coming home to roost. Sportsman’s Warehouse announced that they were acquiring eight existing Field & Stream stores from Dicks.

MIDVALE, Utah, Sept. 30, 2019  (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc.  (Nasdaq: SPWH) announced today that it has entered into agreements with DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc. (NYSE: DKS) to acquire 8 Field & Stream locations. The acquired stores will be operated as Sportsman’s Warehouse stores and are located in Pennsylvania (3), New York (2), North Carolina (2) and Michigan (1). The total purchase price of $28 million for inventory and assets will be funded through borrowings under Sportsman’s revolving credit facility. Sportsman’s will sublease the eight locations from DICK’S.  The transaction is expected to close on October 11, 2019 subject to customary closing conditions.

This acquisition is consistent with Sportsman’s strategy to return to a more typical store growth pattern, following a period of investment in omni-channel capabilities, technology, and debt reduction over the last two years.


“We are very pleased to announce this opportunistic expansion of our current 95 store base through the acquisition of these 8 Field & Stream locations. Each of these stores operate in strong markets, with well-established customer bases. We look forward to serving these communities with our continued strong commitment to provide outstanding gear and exceptional service to inspire outdoor memories.” said Jon Barker, Chief Executive Officer.

DICK’S CEO Ed Stack said in August that the company is engaging in a “broader strategic review of our hunt business, including Field & Stream.”

Translated this means that “you damned bitter clingers have decided to shop elsewhere because of my anti-rights, gun control posturing.”

That would be pretty much correct. I haven’t stepped foot in either a DICK’S or a Field & Stream since Stack decided it was good business to virtue signal on gun control.

While DICK’S has made no formal announcement on their website of the sale (unlike Sportsman’s Warehouse), Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wires has more on the sale.

The industry was outraged when Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) announced it would remove guns from its nationwide chain. Now, it appears the company is quietly abandoning their Field & Stream stores as well.


Yesterday, it was reported that Dick’s was selling eight of its 35 Field & Stream branded stores to Sportsman’s Warehouse. Seems Utah-based Sportsman’s Warehouse feels the locations (Camp Hill and Altoona, PA, Horseheads and Rochester, NY, Greensboro and Asheville, NC and Troy, Michigan) are “opportunistic expansion” openings and worth the reported $28-million purchase price.


In fact, Sportsman’s Warehouse CEO Jon Baker described the eight locations as “strong markets with well-established customer bases.” All good for a company that has solidly identified with hunters and the shooting markets.


Dick’s has yet to clearly state what has become, essentially, a foregone conclusion- they plan to remove hunting gear from all their Dick’s locations (125 more this year) and dispose of the remaining 27 Field & Stream brand stores as quickly as is practicable.

I, for one, am pleased to be getting a Sportsman’s Warehouse in Asheville. The old Field & Stream store is in a good location, has an exterior that screams outdoors, and is next to the Asheville Outlet Mall. This is just the type of outdoors store that we have been waiting for in western North Carolina.

The Greensboro location is also ideal for Sportsman’s Warehouse. While the Piedmont Triad does have a couple of Gander Outdoors stores and an Academy Sports, there is nothing like a Sportman’s Warehouse, Cabela’s, or Bass Pro Shops in the area. The closest would be either the Raleigh area or the Charlotte area.

These 62 Had The Courage Of Their Convictions

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Do you have the courage of your convictions with regard to the Second Amendment? Would you go to the mattresses to use a term from The Godfather?  Would you put your job at risk or would you just quietly suck it up?

62 former employees of Dick’s Sporting Goods and their Field and Stream subsidiary did have the courage of their convictions. After Dick’s CEO Ed Stack not only changed the company’s policy on selling modern sporting rifles and raised the purchase age to 21 for all firearms but fully bought into the gun control agenda, these 62 resigned their jobs.

From the Pittsburgh Business Times:

According to CEO Ed Stack, 62 employees quit working for Dick’s Sporting Goods over the retailer’s decision to stop selling assault-style weapons, announced in February….



“We anticipated that there would be some people that would leave. We’ve got 40,0000 employees, and 2,500, or 2,6000 (sic) people working at our corporate headquarters,” said Stack, of the Findlay-based company. “We’re a cross-section of the country. We knew people would be upset.”

His comments came in a Wall Street Journal CEO Council interview. An excerpt of that interview is below.

Stack says it is OK to have differing views and he is correct. However, it is one thing to have differing views on whether the Steelers or the Eagles are the better team and a whole another thing to have differing views on working to suppress a right enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

What Stack did not say was who they were and what jobs they held. Some, like the clerk he mentioned, probably held low level jobs. Other I’m guessing held higher positions. While I don’t have any confirmation of it, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Jack Barnes who is the new VP for Commercial Sales for Sig Sauer was one of those 62. He had developed and implemented the concept of the Field and Stream stores for Dick’s.

These 62 former employees put skin in the game and stood for the Constitution when the head of the company they worked for decided it was politically expedient to trash it. They are to be applauded. If I owned a company in the firearms industry I’d be looking for these 62 as they would be the kind of employees I’d want.