Canadian Outdoor Retailer Drops Products From US Company That Makes Guns

Mar 03, 2018, 05:01
Canadian Outdoor Retailer Drops Products From US Company That Makes Guns

The Vancouver-based adventure retailer does not sell guns but rather products like water bottles and helmets made by Vista-owned brands such as CamelBak and Bollé.

Calls for boycotts spread especially quickly in the cycling community, where Camelbak products have always been prolific, and Vista Outdoor's helmet brands are well-known.

On Sunday evening, Ms. Latha put up a petition on change.org demanding that Mountain Equipment stop selling brands owned by Vista Outdoor. "I think it's exactly what they should do", said MEC shopper Gail Joynt of the co-op's decision to drop Vista Outdoor Inc Brands. The decision came a few hours after REI's Canadian counterpart, Mountain Equipment Co-op, took a similar step.

Vista also owns the Savage Arms company.

MEC's president David Labistour said the co-op had heard from thousands of its members, each saying in a slightly different way that what they wanted was some distance between it and gun companies.

MEC doesn't sell guns, but has faced a petition calling on it to stop selling brands owned by Vista Outdoor because the US company also develops and manufactures firearms similar to the type of weapon used in a recent mass shooting in Florida.

The gun control debate that ignited across the nation in a bid to restrict the use of weapon, propelled US stores like Walmart, Dicks, L.L. Bean and Kroger Co.to stop selling assault rifles.

Although it's hard to find all potential conflicts involving suppliers, staff are reviewing Running Room vendors, he said. Indeed, Vista Outdoor has a PAC that, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit dedicated to tracking money in USA politics, has donated thousands of dollars to the campaigns of congressmen who have historically opposed public land protection.

Representatives from Vista did not immediately respond to HuffPost's requests for comment. Vista Outdoor became an independent company in 2015, spun out from Alliant Techsystems Inc., a large USA aerospace and defence industry company known as ATK.

"A major concern for the boycott centers around the incorrect assumption that the purchase of any of our products may support a cause that does not fit the mission/values of our brand", it said.

"If you start thinking about the global supply chain, every one of us is involved in something that is against our values: If it's not Vista, maybe you're connected to someone who designs logos for one of Vista's brands", Gupta said.

Its founder John Stanton said in a telephone interview that Running Room began selling CamelBak products more than a decade ago, before it was acquired by Vista Outdoor.

MEC, widely regarded as a store for outdoor gear, have never sold weapons in their store. "To meet the diverse interests of Canadians, we always consider product mix, assortment and customer preference when determining what products are sold in our stores".

Vista Outdoor's business is divided into two branches: One side is dedicated to outdoor products; the other branch is dedicated to "shooting sports", which generates 54 percent of the company's external sales revenue, according to its annual report.

"We believe that the commonality is around gun control and the lack of sensible gun control", said Labistour of the feedback.

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