Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart See Lift in Perception After Altering Gun Sale Policies

New insights from YouGov BrandIndex

Perception for the two brands is up, per YouGov BrandIndex. Sources: Getty Images, Walmart
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New data from YouGov BrandIndex shows that both Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods have seen an uptick in positive brand perception after announcing some major changes to gun sale policies last week.

Walmart changed its policy to raise the age minimum to 21 for anyone who wants to buy a gun or ammunition while Dick’s Sporting Goods announced plans to stop selling assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines. Dick’s also changed its minimum age limit to 21 to purchase a firearm. The changes from both companies were in response to the school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla.

According to YouGov BrandIndex, a public perception research firm that surveys, Dick’s Sporting Goods saw a particularly big boost in word of mouth after making its announcement on Feb. 28.

YouGov hypothesized that because Dick’s Sporting Goods was the first of the two brands to make its announcement, discussion among consumers (or word of mouth) tripled. While 7 percent of consumers were talking about the brand on Feb. 28, 25 percent were talking about the brand (either in person or online) over this past weekend.

“Walmart’s rise in perception was mainly fueled by Democrats and independents, while Republican perception dipped mildly,” the report from YouGov noted.

While Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart are seeing a boost, another recent post from YouGov found that brands that cut ties with the NRA are seeing no movement in brand perception.


@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.