PORTLAND — Superstore company Fred Meyer will stop selling guns and ammunition.
The Portland-based chain in a statement Friday said it made the decision after evaluating customer preferences. The company sells guns at nearly 45 of its 132 stores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.
“Fred Meyer has made a business decision to exit the firearms category,” the company said. “We are currently working on plans to responsibly phase out sales of firearms and ammunition.”
The company, a subsidiary of Cincinnati, Ohio,-based Kroger Co., didn’t give a timeline in the statement. Fred Meyer spokesman Jeffery Temple in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday said the company wasn’t offering interviews.
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Fred Meyer stores sell a range of goods that include groceries, clothing, electronics, outdoor equipment, furniture and jewelry. Stores also include pharmacies.
The company said the firearms category represents about $7 million annually of its revenue and sales have been declining.
“We made the decision early last week after evaluating changing customer preferences and the fact that we’ve been steadily reducing this category in our Fred Meyer stores over the last several years due to softening consumer demand,” the company said. “More recently we have been transitioning away from gun departments as a result of our ongoing work to optimize space in our Fred Meyer stores.”
Following last month’s high school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead, Fred Meyer said it would stop selling firearms to anyone under 21. The company had already stopped selling assault-style guns several years ago, except in Alaska.
Fred Meyer did not mention the school shooting in its statement Friday.
Other stores announced in the wake of that shooting that they would stop selling guns to anyone under 21 including Walmart Inc. and L.L. Bean. Dick’s Sporting Goods recently banned sales of assault rifles.
Several outdoor chains, including Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Gander Outdoors and Academy Sports, continue to sell assault-style rifles.