Dick's Sporting Goods has agreed to sell eight of its Field & Stream stores, their inventory and related assets, to Sportsman's Warehouse for a total purchase price of $28 million, according to a company press release published on Monday. The deal is expected to close Oct. 11.
The Field & Stream stores will be rebranded to operate under the Sportsman's Warehouse banner and are located in Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina and Michigan, according to the release. Dick's Sporting Goods did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the sale or details about its future plans for the Field & Stream business.
Sportsman's Warehouse will sublease the locations from Dick's Sporting Goods and is funding the purchase through borrowings from its revolving credit facility.
Dick's has been making concentrated efforts to pull back from the hunting space in recent years, most noticeably through its stance on guns.
The sports retailer stopped selling assault-style rifles at its Field & Stream stores in 2018, shortly after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and also began lobbying for gun control. CEO Ed Stack said at the time that the retailer had previously sold a gun to the shooter, and though it was not the one used in the shooting, "it could have been."
Years prior to that, in response to the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, shooting, the retailer had removed assault-style rifles from all Dick's Sporting Goods stores. While the company has suffered sales declines in part due to its decision to pull back from the hunting category, Stack noted in the retailer's fourth quarter earnings report that the hunting category would be removed from 125 stores where it was underperforming.
"If it goes as well as expected, we would probably take another batch of stores next year," Stack said at the time. "This is around having productive space. And there is some places that the hunt business is very good, other places that it's not very good."
The sale of these Field & Stream stores, which would leave Dick's Sporting Goods with 27 remaining locations under that banner, seems to be another move away from the hunting space. For Sportsman's Warehouse, the move is part of a strategy to "return to a more typical store growth pattern" after recent investments in omnichannel, technology and debt reduction.
Outside of the hunting space, Dick's has made efforts to expand beyond its normal reach through a partnership with Macy's Story concept, which ran through September and featured Dick's private brands. It was the company's first partnership with another major retailer, according to a release at the time.