Go woke, go broke. That’s what conservatives say, and unfortunately, sometimes it’s just rhetoric that doesn’t materialize. Still, there are times when the adage proves true.
Enter Dick’s Sporting Goods, the woke outdoor company that has prided itself on inserting itself into various cultural battles. As RedState reported, shareholders were greeted with bad news recently when it was revealed that Dick’s saw a 23 percent drop in profit over the last quarter.
That sent the company into a freefall. On August 21st, the stock price was $141. Two days later, it was at $108 (for the up-to-the-minute price, click here). That’s a dramatic drop for a well-known retail brand with so many years in the game.
The question is, what led us here? According to Dick’s own admission, a sharp rise in retail theft has severely hampered profitability.
While we posted another double-digit EBT margin, our Q2 profitability was short of our expectations due in large part to the impact of elevated inventory shrink, an increasingly serious issue impacting many retailers.
That’s more of a symptom than a root cause, though. The sudden onslaught of flash mob robberies and brazen shoplifters didn’t just materialize for no reason, and I’ve got a pretty good idea of how we ended up here.
A story in four parts. pic.twitter.com/onQK8chsWB
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) August 23, 2023
Dick’s has long prided itself on being at the forefront of the push for “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” which is just a fancy phrase for when a company wastes money paying do-nothings to push far-left policies within the broader culture. It’s all about showing that a company is fighting for “justice” and is “giving a voice” to the whinest, most entitled members of its workforce.
Unfortunately for corporations that went down that path, the bill for their activism is now coming due. Nothing is disconnected from the culture, and when Dick’s decided to go all-in on being woke, that didn’t happen in a vacuum. Rather, the company fed into a far-left behemoth that actively sought to change laws surrounding bail and shoplifting. The result has been anarchy, where criminals can walk into a store, clean out an entire section, and walk out with little fear they will be prosecuted.
This is what happens when corporations decide to insert themselves into the culture wars. For its part, Dick’s was at the forefront of banning gun sales following the Parkland shooting, as if doing so would have any impact at all on mass shootings. By 2019, the company had fully invested in a DEI department and made it a centerpiece of its corporate strategy.
The consequences of that have been a 23 percent drop in profitability due to the abuse of policies the company either directly or indirectly supported. So do I feel sorry for Dick’s? Not in the least. I think they should continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor to the fullest.