Weeks after it said it would stop selling guns and ammunition to purchasers younger than 21, Fred Meyer, a banner of the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., has decided to discontinue all gun sales, explaining the move as a "business decision."
Earlier this month, Portland, Ore.-based Fred Meyer, along with such retailers as Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, revealed the new age-limit policy in the aftermath of the deadly Parkland, Fla., high school shooting, in which the gunman was 19 years old.
"The company is currently working on plans to responsibly phase out sales of firearms and ammunition," Fred Meyer said in a statement supplied to Progressive Grocer. "The company made the decision early last week after evaluating changing customer preferences and the fact that there have already been efforts to steadily reduce this category in Fred Meyer stores over the last several years due to softening consumer demand. More recently, Fred Meyer has been transitioning away from gun departments as a result of the ongoing work to optimize space in Fred Meyer stores. The firearms category represents about $7 million annually of Fred Meyer's revenue -- and sales continue to decline."
Fred Meyer sells guns at 43 of its 133 stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, according to Business Insider.
In related news, Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kroger, has removed publications from its shelves that promote assault rifles, although the chain will still sell some gun-related publications, company spokeswoman Danna Robinson told the Charlotte Observer.