They claim that they will replace the guns and ammo with merchandise that they will make a profit off of, but that seems to be ignoring how Dick’s is laid out.
More than likely, their clothing is what has the highest markup on the price. That is why it is in the center of the store. Other products are arranged around the sides and back of the store, so that customers have to walk through or by the clothing in order to get to other items. Most people don’t think of going to a sporting goods store, to buy clothing. They go to a sporting goods store to buy a piece of equipment, then may get distracted and consider buying some overpriced clothing.
Removing guns and ammo, takes away a big chunk of potential sporting goods store customers. Making public statements supporting gun control, also takes away some customers that would be looking for fishing tackle or camping gear, but don’t want to give money to a store that has alienated gun owners. All of those are customers that will not be walking in looking for something, then getting distracted and buying a shirt that they could buy somewhere else for less money.
Until the upper management of Dick’s faces that fact head on, they are just making excuses for why their pandering to people that don’t shop at their stores, is hurting their profits.