Dick's Sporting Goods will remove the hunting department from about 440 additional stores in 2020, according to a company press release.
These 440 stores are on top of about 135 stores where the hunting category has already been removed, as it had "underperformed" in those areas, CEO Edward Stack said at the time.
For 2019, Dick's faced hunt restructuring charges of $57.7 million, which included a $13.1 million write-down of inventory in the stores slated for closure in 2020, $35.7 million of non-cash impairments of trademark and store assets, and an $8.9 million charge related to its exit of eight Field & Stream stores, which the company sold off in October.
Dick's continues to move away from guns, and the hunting category altogether.
In February of 2018, the company announced it would no longer sell assault-style rifles at Field & Stream stores, in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Since then, the company has advocated for gun control and spoken out about its decision to cut guns, despite the financial cost of doing so.
In addition to selling off eight of its Field & Stream stores to Sportsman's Warehouse in October, which leaves it with 27 of the concept, the company has also steadily moved away from the hunting category within its Dick's Sporting Goods locations. While execs have remained confident in their decisions, "the impact of strategic decisions relating to the hunt business, including Field & Stream" was listed on Dick's potential risks to its business.
Execs on a conference call with analysts noted that the removal of hunt from 125 stores last year led to a "meaningful sales decline in that category," but that the stores still delivered positive comp sales in the quarter. With the plans to remove it from an additional 440 stores in the first half of the year, Stack said the hunt category would remain in just 12% of its locations.
Asked how the stores without hunt were performing, Stack shied away from specifics, but noted that execs were "pleased" with their performance, and balked at the idea that it would leave Dick's weighted so heavily with apparel and footwear that it would begin to resemble a department store.
"I don't think there will be any confusion that we are in the sports and fitness business, as opposed to a department store," Stack said on the call.
Looking ahead, he said the company will replace hunt with categories that "drive growth," which could include team sports, baseball, soccer, youth apparel and footwear, and women's. Stack said the replacement categories will depend on where the store is located and what fits that geography best. He added that Dick's, "will continue to monitor and evaluate all categories of our business."
Outside of its emphasis on moving away from the hunt category, Dick's executives also focused on the women's athletics market and efforts to appeal to that demographic. To that end, execs highlighted Dick's private labels Calia and DSG, the former of which is its second strongest brand behind Nike. Dick's President Lauren Hobart also added that in the women's space, Dick's will have an expanded assortment in several sports, including basketball, dance and softball.
In 2020, the retailers plans to open nine Dick's Sporting Goods stores and relocate 14. Shares were up after the report, on a day when the market tanked more broadly.