Dick's Sporting Goods appears to be on the upswing.
After a slog of dampened sales, Dick's announced Thursday, Aug. 22, that same store sales jumped 3.2 percent in the second quarter - marking its strongest showing since 2016. The outdoors retailer's stock was up more than 9 percent in premarket trading as Dick's raised its full year guidance.
Company chief executive Ed Stack said the performance was driven by increases in average tickets, plus solid results from apparel and footwear, brick-and-mortar and e-commerce.
"Our key strategies and investments are working, our major head winds are behind us and we've bent the curve on sales," Stack said in a statement. "We are very enthusiastic about our business and are pleased to increase our full year sales and earnings outlook."
It wasn't immediately clear how much of Dick's' strong performance was due to its reconsideration of its gun sales policies. In its earnings, Dick's said it was "continuing the strategic review of its hunt business," including at its Field & Stream stores, which specialize in fishing, outdoor and hunting gear.
In March, Dick's removed guns from 125 stores out of its total fleet of roughly 730. Stack told The Post earlier this year that Dick's was considering whether to add more locations to that roster, depending on how the 125 locations perform. In a pilot program in 2018, Dick's took all guns out of 10 stores and filled the empty space with products targeted for those markets, such as sports team merchandise. Those 10 stores outperformed the rest of the chain.
After the Parkland, Florida, shooting last year, Stack announced that Dick's was pulling all assault-style weapons from its stores and banning high-capacity magazines and "bump stocks" that could effectively convert semiautomatic weapons into machine guns. He also announced that Dick's would not sell firearms to people under 21.
Those decisions sparked boycotts from customers nationwide. More than 60 employees quit. For the fiscal year ending Feb. 2, 2019, same-store sales fell 3.1 percent, according to company earnings, with Stack blaming much of the slump on gun issues. When Dick's hired lobbyists on gun legislation, one of the company's gun suppliers said it would no longer sell to the company directly.
This article was written by Rachel Siegel, a reporter for The Washington Post.