Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Dick’s Sporting Goods screws over their customers and their suppliers

Written By: Bob - Dec• 29•12

After the Newtown tragedy, Dicks Sporting Goods—which presumably entered the modern sporting rifle (MSR) market purely for financial gain when it saw other sporting good stores selling them by the truckload—screwed over hundreds or thousands of customers. It cancelled the rifles they’d ordered, as if they were criminals. DSG’s respect for their customers was and is less than nothing, and they will no longer receive any of my sporting goods business.

To be fair, it wasn’t a hard decision to make, when so many other companies offer comparable pricing and far better service.

Not content with treating their customers with contempt, Dick’s then treated their business partners the same way.

Troy Defense (Troy), a division a Troy Industries, Inc., was deeply dismayed and shocked to hear through national media outlets that Dick’s Sporting Goods (DSG) made the decision to stop selling the Troy Carbine along with other modern sporting rifles. DSG did not contact or inform Troy of this decision prior to notifying the public. Nor was Troy informed by DSG that cancellation letters were being sent to customers, set to arrive on Christmas Eve (a day Troy was closed).

Troy has invested millions of dollars in its facility and operations to bring its first ever modern sporting rifle to the market under an exclusive contract with DSG. In selecting DSG as the sole distributor of the Troy Carbine, Troy relied on DSG’s high sales forecasts and sales potential prior to undertaking the significant financial and corporate commitment necessary to design, develop, manufacture and bring a new modern sporting rifle to the marketplace. Based on DSG’s press release, DSG’s anti-gun stance is clear – DSG will not continue modern sporting rifle sales and Troy will sadly not see its Carbine readily available — despite the outlay of millions of dollars by Troy and its commitment to support DSG in its distribution efforts.

Rest assured, Troy was not the only supplier Dick’s treated so shamefully.

It will be my joy to watch Dicks’ Sporting Goods become a cautionary tale of what happens to companies that treat their customers and suppliers with contempt.

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77 Comments

  1. david7134 says:

    From the language, it would suggest that Dicks is going to get a spanking in court.

    • Breach of contract. That “press release” was written by a lawyer. Fortunately for Troy, there is a large market waiting to soak up all that production.

      • Aaron says:

        I wrote Troy defense and thanked them for building a firearm I would purchase. And asked them to inform me when they had a resaler who I could purchase one from. The good thing for them is the market is hot and they will probably make more, you know, that thing Obama hates so much, profit!

  2. Ann jeffcoat says:

    Dick sporting goods may get their Oprah moment. Remember Oprah was going great on daytime tv until she supported Obama. Now where is she?

    • Ben says:

      Who? Oh, that’s the point…

    • Jane Defender Doe says:

      Oprah just has her own network, magazine, millions of dollars and eliminated a bad relationship with a Disney ABC, a network I boycott and with all sincerity, hopefully will go down the toilet for their tasteless programming choices.

      I suppose I will now be boycotting DSG, also. That’s a no-brainer

  3. Georg Felis says:

    Dicks is getting the pointy end of the stick from both ends: Their suppliers are going to start prodding them in court for yanking their guns, while their customers will flood over to other companies. At the same time, they are losing sales on these rifles which are going sharply up in price every day. (leaving larger profit margins)

    Are they trying to go bankrupt?

    • riverboat says:

      Suppliers are not going to court for them taking guns off their shelves. That’s just a plain stupis comment. Dick’s is entitled to do what they wish in terms of what merchandise they sell. Even if Troy had an exclusive contract, it is far more cost effective to simply take those rifles cancelled by Dick’s and sell them elsewhere and save the legal fees. Gun market is obviously good right now, so if I worked for Troy, I wouldn’t be losing any sleep.

      As for the millions invested by Troy industries with regards to this contract, that’s pure speculation born of an emotional response to Dick’s discontinuing a gun.

      think before you post, please.

      • Michael says:

        You’ve never entered a contract more serious than a car loan or apartment lease, have you?

      • SVT says:

        riverboat

        What proof do you have of anything you say?

      • Dr. Deano says:

        If DSA has a contract with Troy that was violated by DSA (and that seems very likely) then the actual court costs to Troy will be minimal and the gains will likely far outweigh those costs even if the gains are limited to actual losses sustained due to DSA’s failure to meet the terms of the contract they entered with Troy.

        The bad press they are rightfully receiving will cost them and will also serve as pressure to settle court battles less favorably than they would otherwise prefer.

        In my estimation, DSA shot itself in the both feet – suppliers and customers.

      • Isab says:

        Let me guess, not a contracts attorney, are you?

        If you were you would realize that the terms of the contract will dictate who prevails in court, and it looks like when Troy gave Dicks an exclusive deal, there were promises made by Dicks that were broken. This leaves Dicks with a lot potential exposure for damages. Troy has a duty to mitigate those damages but Dicks is by no means off the hook.

        This was a poor business decision by Dicks, and the bad press will cost them millions more than the mere breaking of an exclusive contract.

      • Depends on what the contract says. If you have an exclusive contract, there are usually specific performance metrics, including what the retailer can do with the merchandise to dispose of it if it doesn’t sell. There’s no faster way to destroy your brand than to have your exclusive retailer trashing the price in the marketplace.

        Troy was foolish for relying on a single retail outlet….a classic case of customer concentration to an extreme.

      • SVT says:

        The comment re: the dollars invested came from Troy – but I guess you know better than Troy does.

        My guess – you are a Dick’s employee sitting there with nothing to do buytroll.

      • Alipax says:

        “Troy has invested millions of dollars in its facility and operations to bring its first ever modern sporting rifle to the market under an exclusive contract with DSG.”

        Being a rude, snarky, self important schmuck is not a good way to begin a conversation. What is it about exclusive contract with DSG, that you do not understand. As to whether Troy invested millions because of this contract is not a matter of speculation, but rather a question of fact. Either they did or did not, which is something to be adjudicated in a court.

        Think before you open your mouth.

      • cruz says:

        Not a stupid comment at all, actually. If DSG signed an exclusive distribution agreement and then bailed on a whim, they likely will have a hefty penalty to pay. I hope Troy puts them into receivership.

      • RAFIV says:

        Excuse me? DSG entered into an exclusive distribution contract with Troy. Although there may be circumstances where a breach of contract is the most economically feasible option, it does not sound as if DSG gave adequate or appropriate notice under the terms of the contract. DSG will likely have to pay a substantial sum to Troy either in or out of court.

      • riverboat says:

        No, not a contract attorney, but I am a former merchant and I’ve seen this type of deal play out before a million times. The vendor cries and screams and may threaten but I guarantee you Troy won’t recover legal fees that are worthwhile even if they have a good legal case.

        My only point is business is business. Nothing to do with the right or wrong of DSG to carry guns or not. It may or may not hurt them. It will affect the gun people, obviously emotionally, but it will also affect the non gun customer emotionally as well.

        In the end, DSG is acting rational and its contract problems as stated on this board are pure speculation unless someone here is has intimate knowledge of the relationship.

      • riverboat says:

        alipax–

        “What is it about exclusive contract with DSG, that you do not understand. As to whether Troy invested millions because of this contract is not a matter of speculation, but rather a question of fact. Either they did or did not, which is something to be adjudicated in a court.”

        I’ve made these agreements in my former career and i agree that they should be upheld as a matter of good business, but I also know exactly how a vendor thinks. Sure they’re unhappy, but like I said, the gun market is good right now. They will have no problem selling the goods. Why waste money on lawyers?

        Not sure what’s so snarky about posting logic based on experience.

        And no, I have nothing to do with Dick’s. Talk about idiotic specualtion.

      • riverboat says:

        Michael–

        “You’ve never entered a contract more serious than a car loan or apartment lease, have you?”

        Really?

        You’ve never worked in retail as a buyer have you? Trying to add perspective that I felt was missing.

      • George says:

        Ha, you’ve never dealt with corporate contracts have you? My guess is that Troy will take those guns and sell them elsewhere AND they will sue Dicks if Troy made serious investments based upon Dicks contractual agreement. And Troy’s winning will have absolutely nothing to do with whether it was able to successfully resell the guns and will have everything to do with the simple fact of whether Dicks reneging on the agreement harmed Troy.

      • Kirk Parker says:

        riverboat,

        Excuse me? You’ve seen abrogation of an exclusive distribution contract play out “a million times”??? Details, please!

      • SVT says:

        riverboat – You guarantee that Troy won’t recover significant attorney’s fees, because they can sell their product elsewhere?

        Absent some fee shifting mechanism like an offer of judgment, Troy’s entitlement to fees will be determined by contract or statute, and the amount awarded will not depend on the amount of damages recovered.

        Gee, I would have thought someone whose seen a million of these situations would know that, especially when that someone calls other commenters “stupis.”

  4. [...] Bob Owens discusses Dick’s screwing their customers [...]

  5. Veeshir says:

    Screw em.

    I\’ll never shop at Dick\’s again and I will let people know you can not count on them to ship you items you bought.

    Both of those things are deal breakers for any business, screwing you business associates and your customers is not a good business model.

    I look forward to them not shipping Buck knives next Christmas.

  6. SouthernRoots says:

    Only two stores in Washington – easy to avoid.

  7. LD Jackson says:

    Gee, wasn\’t that nice of them.

    We have one of their stores in the town where I work in Arkansas and I can honestly say it was a big disappointment for me the only time I have been inside. They had less of a selection than did some of the local stores. Their actions tell me all I need to know.

  8. Timbo says:

    I have a considerable amount built up on my dicks reward card. I will cash that in, and never enter a dicks store again.

    It is stunning when we see these large companies commit suicide over their shameful beliefs. Oh well, too bad, so sad. There are many other sporting goods stores which will be more than happy to service my needs.

  9. rick says:

    always thought the name was fitting. pretty much who, and what works there, and owns the place.

  10. whitestone says:

    So, the moral of the story is don’t be a Dick.
    Troy should offer the weapons publicly through Gun Broker or some other auction site for what the market will bear… they could easily recoup their startup costs and perhaps make a profit.

  11. UncleZeb says:

    Just opened a Gander Mtn a few blocks from DGS. No need to ever go back there again, LOL. They will be toast from the lawsuits just from the one manufacturer.

  12. Locks says:

    Must be a liberal is in charge at Dick’s.

  13. They’re getting their comeuppance, if what I saw here in San Antonio was any indication. Bass Pro Shops was damn near full, and people were streaming in and out. We had to park pretty far out. Dick’s? Plenty of parking spaces to be had, many right up towards the front, and the inside looked to be a ghost town looking in from the outside.

  14. David Rogers says:

    If anyone–customers or suppliers–wants to sue Dick’s over this, I’d be happy to help.

    These clowns have what-for coming to them.

  15. egoist says:

    Dicks. I always found them to be overpriced (otherwise).

    Maybe something of a buycot could be formed if Troy Defense & Cabela’s did an emergency transfer / sale. Think of publicity for all three companies!

  16. Esau's Message says:

    The company will pay a price. It has played fast and loose with the most important people in any box store business — the suppliers. Good luck to you, you stupid bastards.

  17. Deserttrek says:

    looks to me like dick’s is being a bunch of dicks

  18. Beto Ochoa says:

    Just send ALL that hardware to Texas.
    We’re already out.
    Look, they’re Dicks by their own admission.
    They just pissed of 2/3+ of the public.
    Stupider than Netflix’s CEO

  19. MarkJ says:

    We have a Dick’s in the medium-sized city where I live in Indiana. Only been there a couple of times. Won’t ever go there again now that a Gander Mountain store has recently opened up here.

  20. THORGODOFTHENORTH says:

    Dicks sucks

  21. jay says:

    Never will buy anything in a Dick’s again.

  22. Vinnyboombots says:

    The hate-filled Republicans are always threatening to boycott someone. Those guns were being used to kill many people, especially women, children, minorities, and gays, and it is about time someone stood up to the NRA and the gun nuts who want more young black men to kill other young black man since Republicans think they are all on welfare. Instead of blaming the black President for everything, Republicans need to look in the mirror at their criminal selves.

    • Rob Crawford says:

      Obvious troll is obvious.

    • dwdude says:

      not biased, are you? if republicans, as you call us, are ever going to mimic the violence perpetrated by the far left throughout history, you should be worried. you will be one of the first to assume room temperature, mainly because of your ability to stand out in a crowd.

    • Ken Begg says:

      Wow, that’s a LOT of stupid in one paragraph. I know the anti-gun people are the stupid party by default, arguing (well, OK, venting) without even a single fact on their side. Even so, that’s just outstanding work. Kudos.

      By the way, here’s a bonus New Year’s hint; periods are just as cheap as commas.

    • George says:

      LOL. Because liberals NEVER threaten to boycott anyone? What a joke.

    • Synova says:

      Interestingly… there’s an inverse relationship to gun control and black victims of gun violence.

      More gun control… fewer white victims but way way more black victims.

      Less gun control… more white victims but way way fewer black victims.

      So the people who want more young black men to die horribly by being shot… they aren’t the gun nuts, they’re the gun grabbers.

      But I do understand… it’s the emotional truth and not the real truth that matters.

    • j. knight says:

      Wow, it’s only the first day of the year and you won the contest for the dumbest comment of 2013. Congratulations for being a bigger dick than Docks. Although in your case it is vagina.

    • BuryYourBullets says:

      This man does not represent us(liberals). That said, I applaud Dick’s position on this front. If you really want your precious guns, there are several other retailers that provide that service. Dick’s is not infringing on your rights, they have every right to not sell these weapons. If Troy has a problem with it, they can settle it in court.

      • HSR47 says:

        The backlash against Dick’s isn’t so much because they choose to stop selling a product.

        Instead, it’s because they entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with a manufacturer, offered that manufacturer’s product at an excellent price, accepted backorders at that same price when they ran out of stock, and then subsequently decided to cancel all outstanding orders/sales.

        Basically, they entered into a legally binding agreement to be the sole distributor for a manufacturer, took orders from their own customers for said manufacturer’s product, and then decided to terminate said agreements out of the blue with no prior warning.

        In short, they made legally binding agreements and then decided shirk their obligations. As such, their customers and suppliers are rightly aggravated.

  23. dwdude says:

    dick’s premature ejaculation is going to cost them plenty in divorce court…

  24. Dannytheman says:

    It is simple enough to stop shopping there and move on to another Sporting Goods chain.

    Dicks overreacted in my opinion. Then they doubled down on their decision.

    I won’t shop there, I won’t let them know why. They will suffer as others think like I do.

  25. Tasmaniac says:

    They are dead to me now.

  26. dwdude says:

    dick’s made my choice for me concerning my first new year’s resolution…they are permanently off of my shopping list. it will be a choice that is easily kept.

  27. MH says:

    Dicks: the name says it all.

  28. Jerry says:

    Dick’s just opened four stores in the Oklahoma City metro area. Their decision to exit firearms sales is bound to result in a lot of disgust and anger among Okies, inasmuch as the Sooner State is one of the most pro-2nd amendment places on earth.

    But maybe four huge stores can survive by selling shoes and fishing tackle. Customers have nowhere else to go, do they?

    The only ray of sunshine I see is that maybe the ammo Dick’s would have stocked will wind up on the shelves of our out-of-stock retailers.

  29. Aryana says:

    Finally, a company willing to take some responsibility for assisting in the mass murders which are increasing all the time. Sure, those who want guns can get them, but there is simply no reason for every sporting goods store to sell them. Orders get cancelled all the time, and production has to allow for that possibility.

    Less guns = less lives lost by maniacs.

    • Tomas says:

      80,000,000 disarmed Russians might disagree with you.
      6,000,000 Jews, also disarmed, might disagree with you. China, Cambodia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Cuba….. This could become a long list.

      I get the (failed) logic that less guns equals less murders. But, as Mao noted: Political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The vast majority of gun deaths are inflicted by governments upon formerly armed citizens.

      Some deadly, inanimate objects, when limited, do result in less deaths. Examples include: Cars, Prescription drugs, visits to hospitals, suicide attempts,

      Why does Chicago have the strictest, besides dc, gun laws, yes over 500 adults and kids died from gunshots in 2012? That is a case of less guns in the hands of lawful citizens equaling more deaths. DC, same way. California? Same again. Other places where legal ownership has increased over the past decade? Rates of gun deaths have dropped. Are you scared of thinking, and would rather react emotionally to calls by the politicians and media to react irrationally for “the children”? Have you wondered what their end game is? This topic, like all others, should be reasoned while remembering to ask yourself: who benefits? Taking my means of defense away, well that doesn’t benefit me. Giving government a monopoly on violence? That benefits those enamored of government, but it absolutely does not benefit citizens. No matter how many times the lie “that if even one life can be saved” is spewed forth, it just does not make it true.

      If our elected and appointed officials, not to,mention our fellow citizens, were truly moral people, perhaps less guns would mean less murders. The fact that these immoral political creatures are only in it for their own gain and positions of power, do you really think is is wise for them to have a monopoly on violence?

  30. Dave O says:

    Hope you’re spoofing Vinnyboombots, or you’re crazy as hell.

  31. aquaviva says:

    I will never shop at DSG again.

    Ever.

  32. WC Varones says:

    You suck, Dick’s!

  33. retrophoebia says:

    Huh, it seems like Dick’s completely ignored the whole debacle with Carbonite dropping Rush Limbaugh on a flash-in-the-pan news story. The stock price is still recovering from that…

  34. njoriole says:

    Apparently, Dick’s learned nothing from the Carbonite fiasco, when that firm dropped Rush Limbaugh over the Sandra Fluke flack. After they quickly realized their mistake (when their stock price plummeted from irate Rush supporters), they begged to come back on Limbaugh’s program. He said no, and they now have to live with the consequences of their rash decision, just a Dicks’ will now,and in the coming days.

  35. BuryYourBullets says:

    Good for Dick’s. Walmart should take initiative and follow their lead.

  36. simon kenton says:

    There’s dumb, and there’s Jist Plain Dumb. There is no saving you when you start doing Jist Plain Dumb. These people learned nothing from Smith and Wesson’s debacle. Nothing. Do they seriously think people will be announcing “Dick’s is getting my custom. Big dollars, too. They are just so Sound on betraying others’ civil rights.” No one will choose to shop there based on this “stand,” and hundreds of thousands of us will not.

  37. John says:

    Taken to it’s future logical step, if more information continues to come out about the risk of long-term problems from concussions, Dick’s really should announce to the world they’re going to stop carrying all football equipment, and also that they’re no longer going to market NFL or college football team jerseys.

    (The point being if you’re going to be a business apparently run by liberals who are looking to pander to your peer group, you better be prepared to meet a lot of future demands for you to go even further in fulfilling nanny-staters’ social engineering demands, as new issues suddenly become litmus tests to what you can and can’t carry in your store. If Dicks wants to play by those rules, 20 years from now they may only be able to stock yoga mats and Nerf soccer balls to remain in good with the nanny state crowd.)

  38. Scottch says:

    Dick’s has seriously misjudged the reaction they are going to get.

    For starters, who in their right mind would want to be a supplier to Dick’s after this?

    They HAVE to ask themselves if Dick’s will arrbitrarily cancel their contracts on the slightest excuse as well.

    Doesn’t have to be guns – say another supplier can provide basketballs at a cheaper price point. You end up with the same result.

    Then you have the gun owning customers themselves.

    Who would be willing to order one of their more politically correct hunting rifles now, knowing that previous customers who did likewise were screwed over and the product the customer contracted for were not delivered?

    Then of course, now that Dick’s decided to be a dick on gun issues, how long will it be before they close up their hunting departments entirely under pressure from the greenies who can’t stand the thought of bambi getting whacked?

    And last but not least, Dick’s has made the mistake of accepting a blatant stereotype of gun owners.

    They assumed an AR pattern rifle is all those customers were ever interested in.

    However, those customers also are going to likely be interested in any number of outdoor activities, anything from camping to kayaking – and Dick’s has just pi$$ed them off.

    On a more personal note, I was going to purchase a box of 12 gauge shells for my son – up until I heard what they did to their customers.

    Instead, after a 30 second conversation with my wife, I drove some 15 miles out of my way PAST a Dick’s to pick up the shells at WalMart.

    I have purchased merchandise from them in the past – but never again. They crawled in bed with gun control, their new bedfellows can try to keep them in business!

  39. Frew says:

    I’ve never heard of Dick’s Sporting Goods. This saves me the trouble of ever trying them out.

    Speaking of dumb ideas, do gun grabbers really think that retailers dropping gun sales does anything to limit the availability of guns? It seems they don’t even know how the market works. It just gives the business and the profit to someone else.

    The market is like the internet. It interprets vendor boycotting as damage and routes around it.

    Taking a principled stand is one thing. Taking a stand that alienates a big part of one’s customer base is something else.

  40. MEL L. says:

    By the time they realize that they made a mistake it will be too late for them. As far as I’m concerned Dick’s doesn’t exist anymore.
    But in their quest for profit centers their new item may be “throwing rocks”, a new product group created by OBAMA and crew. The crazies of the world always have found tools to kill, before guns, and if there were no guns (g-d forbid) they’d still find the means to kill.
    There is no shortage of stupid Liberal politicians, and their followers in Business and the Media.

  41. Harry Newman says:

    Dicks Sporting Goods was originally named Bills but several years ago customers got together and found a more suiting name for this retailer DICKS!
    I have told my friends and relatives due to my past experience with this retailer I will refuse to use and will dispose of any product purchased at DICKS.
    I have been DICKED every time I have walked in their door. The last was a sale on 12 gauge shells by the case at a bargain price only to find the individual boxes held 20 instead of the standard 25.

  42. Joe Doakes says:

    I tried Dicks a couple of times, nothing I couldn’t find at Gander Mountain or Cabellas or even Fleet Farm. No loss.

    But finding a decent .223 is a challenge. Who’s got any left? Why doesn’t somebody else pick up Troy’s product?

  43. simon kenton says:

    Maybe they can get Jim Zumbo as their new spokesperson.

  44. richard40 says:

    Dick’s has a store nearby my home in Oklahoma city. Given the attitude of most Oklahomans on guns, including me, I would not want to be the manager of that store telling customers that guns they already had on order, wont be delivered, because the management of Dick’s thinks something is wrong with them.

  45. Tomas says:

    I read I. The past o. Some other blogs that when customers bought guns fromDicks, that a dicks employee would escort them immediately out of the store with their purchase. The customers said that it made them feel like a criminal or something. Usually these posts were ended with “I’ll never buy a gun at dicks again.” Seems like this latest stance might be an extension of their thoughts. If they hate guns so,much, why do they even sell them? Could it be they put profit before principles? Then, like a typical emotional person, they change position when the hysteria mounts? I wonder, did some anti rights group pressure them? Did some politician pressure them? Did their,bankers tear tell them they shouldn’t sell guns and they caved? Curious what drive this decision. As a public company. I think think they have to disclose changes in strategy to shareholders.