In an interesting turn of fortune, retail magnate Kroger Co. showed a decrease in profits a year after it banned the sale of firearms in its subsidiary Fred Meyer stores.
As of early 2018, Kroger Co. was one of the world’s largest retail magnates and operated 2,782 supermarkets under various names throughout 35 states. The company’s operating profit was $2.1 billion in 2017, and it announced that it expected sales growth to range from 2.0 percent to 2.5 percent for the year 2018.
Kroger is now struggling to regain momentum in the market.
These developments are particularly thought-provoking in light of a series of corporate decisions Kroger enacted in March 2018 after the Parkland shooting, culminating in its final ban of firearm sales from its retail outlets.
However, the company was undeterred by the potential loss of business and decided to forge ahead with its plan—seemingly without concern for its law-abiding pro-gun customers.
Business decisions—especially those founded on shaky grounds—have consequences. Some rich executives are so out of touch with the rest of society that they believe losing customers and business cannot hurt their hoarded wealth. But just as small gains can make large profits, little losses can add up.
Any good businessperson knows that political bias and boldness are not the qualities needed to successfully run a company.
Proof of that can be seen in the financial pullback of customers from overbearing anti-gun giants like Citigroup and Dick’s Sporting Goods, both of which are losing business to due their self-inflicted stupidity.
Recently, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat admitted that customers are taking business away from Citigroup in response to its overreaching anti-gun policy, although he attempted to minimize the consequences of the backlash.
CEO Ed Stack claimed that the wreck in company profits was worth it and defended his flimsy business judgment, stating his belief that people must ”stand up.” As Dick’s profits continue to plunge, one wonders what financial foundation his company will be left standing on.
Is Kroger’s 2018 decline a result of its anti-gun stance?
If so, it will be interesting to watch how the company tries to wade through a financial mire.
What stands out in all this is that many major businesses in America seem to believe that the “little people”—ordinary, working-class citizens without money or power—don’t count.
Let them continue to alienate their customers and lose business. Then maybe they will learn that ordinary people are the ones who count the most.