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Walmart's action on guns could pay off

Reproduced from CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

Walmart's decision earlier this week to stop all sales of handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition — as well as prohibiting open carry in its stores — was met with positive reviews on Wall Street, where its stock climbed more than 1% on Wednesday, and data suggests it may have more room to run.

By the numbers: Research firm CivicScience's survey of 1,986 U.S. adult Walmart shoppers found that under the open carry changes, 29% are more likely to shop in Walmart stores and 22% are "much more likely" to shop there.

  • 19% said they are less likely, including 14% who said they are "much less likely" to do so.
  • Meanwhile, a second survey question asked to 1,471 Walmart shoppers about the ban on ammunition sales found nearly identical responses.

The intrigue: The data shows an improvement from the generally positive results of a similar survey of Dick's Sporting Goods customers conducted in March after that company announced it would no longer sell firearms.

The results: In August, Dick’s announced its strongest quarter since 2016 and raised its full year guidance, after unimpressive sales immediately following the announcement.

  • "Initial reaction to the policies is a clear net positive for Walmart, particularly given what we know about the demographic and socio-political orientation of Walmart shoppers at large," CivicScience CEO John Dick said in an email to research clients.

Go deeper: Walmart to halt sale of ammunition for handguns, assault-style weapons