Dick’s Sporting Goods Proves The ‘Noise’ Of Social Media Can Give An Incomplete Signal

In mid-March, Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack expressed pessimism about his company’s prospects soon after announcing that Dick’s would stop selling assault-style rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines after the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Fla.

He indicated the decision was “not going to be positive from a traffic standpoint and from a sales standpoint,” as the company became the brunt of attacks and boycotts by gun owners and the National Rifle Association (NRA). Three months later, the company’s stock is trading at its highest level in more than 10 months, following reasonably good financial results announced May 30.

We are not surprised.

We measure two types of consumer conversations — those happening in social media, as well as the ones happening face-to-face over kitchen tables and in workplace lunchrooms. While Dick’s was taking a beating on social media, offline conversations about the company became modestly more positive. Many consumers responded positively to the retailer’s new gun sale policies, while more were unaware of the controversy altogether.


Read the full MediaPost article, here.

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