It was only weeks ago that Kroger (KR) decided to raise the minimum age for purchasing guns and ammunition to 21 at its superstore chain Fred Meyer stores. And, now the company has decided to walk out of its firearm business.
Kroger is the latest company to join other national retailers like Walmart (WMT) and Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) in stopping the firearm business, following the February’s massacre at Florida high school that killed 17 people. However, the company did not blame this incident as the only reason for its exit.
Kroger, which operates 133 Fred Meyer stores currently, plans to discontinue the firearm business that contributes approximately $7 million in annual revenue. Low sales of the firearm unit further provoked the retailer to stop selling guns altogether.
Even in the past, the retailer had made efforts to drastically lower the firearm category in several Fred Meyer Stores. Out of 133 stores, firearms were sold at 43 Fred Meyer stores based in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Kroger’s recent plan to stop selling magazines featuring assault rifles shows that the retailer has been seriously thinking of shifting its business away from the firearm industry.
Based on the Firearm and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact report, firearms added over $51 billion to the U.S. economy in the year 2017 and generated more than $6 billion in federal and state taxes.
Many companies have also cut ties with the National Rifle Association or have imposed new policies on guns. Companies have also scratched the special discount offer for the NRA members.
The relationship between Americans and guns has been terribly complicated. The U.S. is said to have the most heavily armed civilian population. However, the sales of guns have dropped since Donald Trump won the White House. The gun industry that thrived during the Obama era now witnesses a free fall in sales.