Dick’s CEO: The retail industry is in ‘panic mode’


Dick’s CEO Edward Stack announced the retail enterprise is in a “perfect storm” for pain — and some stores are worried.

“There’s a lot of people right now, I think, in retail and in this industry, in panic mode,” Stack said in a call with investors on Tuesday. “There’s been a difficult environment.”

Many stores are trying to increase sales and improve traffic, with more than 6,300 store closings published so far in 2017. Traditional retailers have strived to keep up with the growth of e-commerce as Amazon grows more dominant and mall traffic weakens.

“I think it’s just a perfect storm right now in retail, and I think sporting goods is in the centre of it,” Stack said.

He continued: “We’re not particularly happy that we’re in it, but we think we are … one of the few that are very well-positioned to come out of the other side very strong and continue to be the leaders in this industry.”

Many firms are expecting to win over clients with low prices and what Stack called “irrational” and “unpredictable” advertisements.

Now, if consumers find something being marketed at a lower value — either online or at a different retailer — Dick’s has guaranteed to give the best price possible.

“We’re going to be aggressive, and we will be beating their prices,” Stack said. “We’re not going to sit back and just watch this happen. We’ve got the financial strength and muscle to withstand this storm.”

Dick’s shares fell 19% before the market began on Tuesday after second-quarter profits and sales fell below analysts’ forecasts. The firm published net sales of $2.16 billion and 0.1% growth in similar store transactions at areas open for at least one year.