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Dick's Sporting Goods to stop selling guns at 125 more stores

Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. will remove guns, ammo and other hunting accessories from 125 more stores in 2019.

The move comes after the specialty store operator saw positive same-store sales in 10 locations where it initially pulled its hunting products.

Its hunting segment underperformed in these stores where the line was initially removed, chairman and CEO Edward Stack told analysts during a call to discuss fourth-quarter 2018 earnings. The strong margin-rate improvement during the fourth quarter that these stores generated prompted Dick's to remove the category from more stores where the line underperforms.

"It will be replaced with merchandise categories that can drive growth, each based on the needs of that particular market," Stack added.

Dick's saw double-digit declines in its hunting and electronics categories in the fourth quarter of 2018, impacting comparable sales by 3%. The decline was offset by the company's best-performing categories, including apparel, athletic footwear, outdoor equipment, fitness and its private brands.

During the earnings call, Dick's also announced that it will launch a new athletic apparel brand that will replace Adidas AG-owned Reebok merchandise on its store racks. In line with this, Dick's said it will continue to invest in product development to help it reach its $2 billion sales goal in private brands.

Responding to an analyst's question, CFO Lee Belitsky said that in the second quarter, the retailer is expecting extra costs related to the expansion of some of its department stores, including the reallocation of some of the floor space and the removal of the hunting merchandise.

In February 2018, Dick's stopped selling assault-style rifles at its Field & Stream stores in the wake of the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed.

In April 2018, Business Insider reported that Dick's destroyed its inventory of unsold assault-style rifles to comply with its own policies.