FedEx, the U.S. shipping group, is ending a program that offers discounts for business members of the National Rifle Association, the company confirmed to Reuters Breakingviews.
It’s a quiet reversal: eight months ago, FedEx stood by the gun-rights lobby group as other companies scrapped deals. They were reacting to the NRA’s stance after the Parkland School Shooting. Companies including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and car-rental firm Enterprise ended member discounts. At the time, FedEx said that while assault rifles of the kind used in most American mass shootings shouldn’t be in civilian hands, it did not believe in “discriminating” between organizations it works with.
The change in their position comes just days after a gunman killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue. FedEx says the closure of its NRA discount program from Nov. 4 has no connection to that incident or any other shooting. Rather, the NRA just didn’t bring in enough business to merit its own deal. It’s among dozens of organizations FedEx plans to move to new pricing programs, and the company has been notifying customers since early October.
That, though, is still significant – perhaps more so than largely political gestures. It suggests the NRA no longer has the economic clout to inspire fear in the corporate world. Companies are becoming less timid. When retailers Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart and Kroger pledged to end sales of assault rifles earlier this year, their shares didn’t suffer. As customers and investors change their views, businesses no longer need to take an overtly political stance – they can just follow the money.
As reported by www.reuters.com