Superstore company Fred Meyer will stop selling guns and ammunition.
The chain, based in Portland, Ore., said in a statement Friday that 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, and it wasn’t offering interviews, Fred Meyer spokesman Jeffery Temple said in an email Saturday.
Fred Meyer stores sell a range of goods, including groceries, clothing, electronics, outdoor equipment, furniture and jewelry. They also offer pharmacies.
“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.”
After last month’s high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, Fred Meyer said it would stop selling firearms to anyone younger than 21. The company had already stopped selling assault-style guns several years ago, except in Alaska.
Fred Meyer did not mention the rampage in its statement Friday.
In the wake of the shooting, Walmart, L.L. Bean and other stores announced they would stop selling guns to anyone younger than 21. 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.