The economic impacts of the coronavirus shutdown are causing head and heartaches for tens of thousands of businesses, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, which announced that most of it’s 40,000 employees are going to be furloughed starting Easter Sunday. In many states under stay-at-home orders, sporting goods stores aren’t considered essential businesses, and with Dick’s removing firearms and ammunition from hundreds of its stores, any exemption for firearm retailers won’t apply to many of its locations.

Dick’s (DKS) said in a regulatory filing that because of the coronavirus, it’s “increasingly evident” that its more than 800 stores aren’t going to reopen anytime soon. It will keep on a small number of employees to fulfill online orders and curbside pickups.
“It is our goal that when this crisis subsides, we will welcome back our teammates, open our doors and get back to the business we love of serving athletes and our communities,” the company said.
Dick’s has lost about half of its stock value so far this year, though shares were up slightly on Wednesday after news of the furloughs became public.
As much as I dislike Dick’s CEO Ed Stack and his anti-gun activism, I hate to see hourly employees of any company, including Dick’s, lose their livelihood right now, and the economic crunch caused by the novel coronavirus isn’t just impacting anti-gun retailers like Dick’s. Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s are keeping stores open in most states, but the company announced on Wednesday that managers and salaried employees are going to be taking a pay cut, and some hourly employees have either been furloughed or have seen hours reduced, according to Forbes.

At some stores, there are lines to get in after the company introduced a social distancing rule that limited the number of customers in the store at one time to 50. This has taken a “significant toll” on sales, according to a spokesperson, since the company’s vast stores are typically able to accommodate hundreds of people.

The company continues to take online orders and at a distribution center in Wheeling, West Virginia, it is processing 33,000 items every day, which is nearly four times the typical amount, according to an employee. Customers have been buying a wide range of items, including clothing, cookware, fishing poles, GPS units and toilet paper. Guns and ammunition are in high demand, too.

Some of those furloughs may be offset by hiring at distribution centers, thanks to the high amount of online orders that the company’s receiving, but those jobs likely won’t make up all of the temporary loss of retail jobs.

According to Bass Pro Shops, about 75-percent of their stores are open right now, and with models predicting that the peak of the coronavirus pandemic could crest in the United States in the coming days, hopefully there is some light at the end of the tunnel for employees whose stores have closed.