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Dick's Sporting Goods reports strong earnings

Increase comes amid experiment in reducing gun sales

Abaca Press/TNS

The gun department in a Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Arlington, Va., in March 2018.
Abaca Press/TNS The gun department in a Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Arlington, Va., in March 2018.

Dick’s Sporting Goods appears to be on the upswing.

After a slog of dampened sales, Dick’s announced Thursday that same-store sales jumped 3.2 percent in the second quarter — marking its strongest showing since 2016.

The outdoor retailer’s stock was up more than 4 percent 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 its hard line merchandise, apparel and footwear.

“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.”

The earnings suggest critics have abandoned, or possibly forgotten, any consternation toward the retailer, which overhauled its gun sales policies in the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., and removed all guns out of dozens of stores this year.

On Thursday, 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.

Dick’s’ assessment of its own sales policies comes as retailers are under acute pressure to act on gun restrictions in some form, especially in the absence of any congressional movement.

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This month alone, two Walmart stores became the scenes of deadly shootings in El Paso and Southaven, Miss., spurring calls for the megastore to stop selling firearms and ammunition.

Walmart sells guns in about half its 4,750 U.S. stores. After 17 students and teachers were killed in Parkland, Walmart raised the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21.

Stack said firearms had been a weak spot for the company, particularly as gun sales are down nationwide.

“We have this under review and as soon as we decide what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it, we’ll let you know,” Stack said in a call to analysts.

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.

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