After the Parkland shooting last month, Dick's Sporting Goods announced they would no longer be selling assault-style rifles in their hunting section, along with their Field & Stream subsidiary. They also changed their age policy, from 18+ to 21+, for all gun sales. How did that work out for them?
While conservatives and NRA allies expected a backlash, the amount of energy on the pro-gun-control side seams to have balanced things out. Let's take a look at the numbers.
Initially, Field & Stream showed a big dropoff in Facebook followers - presumably Second Amendment boosters angry at the decision. However, the following day there was an equal and opposite reaction - on the whole, a win for Field & Stream.
Because of those big spikes on Feb 27 and 28, the scale makes the rest of the chart hard to parse, so here's another with just the past four weeks:
But you want to see spikes? Here's what happened to Dick's Sporting Goods Facebook page over February 27-28:
That's right, an influx of just short of 150,000 new likes - an overwhelming outpouring of support.
Over the next weeks, here's what happened:
The renewed attention from the March For Our Lives seems to have pushed them back into another upswing.
As for Twitter following, while Field & Stream's tiny numbers barely registered (= not a big twitter presence), take a look at what happened to Dick's:
Likewise with the surge in checkins via Facebook's "were here" count:
How has all this affected sales? We'll have to wait for first quarter numbers. Both Dick's and Field & Stream have been hurt by the general retail meltdown, as well as a Trump slump in gun sales. The industry had pumped up inventories in anticipation of panic-buying in response to Hillary Clinton's election; instead they got Trump, and sales during 2017 stagnated.