In 1948, Richard, “Dick” Stack was working for an army surplus store. The owner asked young 18-year-old Dick if he had any ideas for other items that they could add to their inventory. Dick said that the thought fishing supplies (bait and tackle) would sell well. The store owner laughed and said that Dick would never be a merchant.
Disappointed, Dick told his grandmother this story. “Go for your dreams”, she told her grandson and handed him $300 of her own savings. Dick used the money to buy some stock and open a small storefront.
In the mid-1950s, the store began selling general sports merchandise. In the early 60s, the first Dick’s Sporting Goods store was opened.
Under the supervision of the man who would “never be a good merchant”, the store flourished and a second location was opened in Vestal, New York.
Dick Stack retired in 1984 and his son Eddie, the current CEO, took over the business. Edward Stack has served as chairman and chief executive officer of his father’s company since 1984, having started with the company full-time in 1977, and gradually working his way up in a variety of positions, including store clerk, merchandise manager, store manager and president.
The chain expanded quickly under Eddie. They began opening more stores across Upstate New York in the 1990s.
In 1994, the Dick’s Sporting Goods corporate office was moved from Binghamton, NY to Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.
In early February 2018, Dick’s put out a press release which acknowledged that, in November 2017, it was responsible for the sale of a shotgun to the perpetrator of the Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida, shooting. Although it was not the gun that was used in that shooting, the company stated that “on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens”, Dick’s announced the immediate end of all sales of assault-style type rifles. The company had done this previously in 2012 but claims it will not reverse its stance on the issue this time around. Dick’s also said it would no longer sell high capacity magazines, nor would they sell guns to people under the age of 21. This move cost the company at least a quarter of a billion dollars, according to the CEO.
CEO Ed Stack also stated in an October 2019 interview that the company destroyed nearly $5 million dollars worth of assault-style weapons they had in stock, rather than return them to the manufacturers for credit, thus preventing them from ever being used.
Today, the company operates over 610 stores in 42 US states. In 2016, the company had annual revenue of $7.92 billion. The company is publicly traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol DKS.