Tractor Supply Company announces plans to open 75 to 80 new stores, expecting the home renovation sales spike to stay as consumers continue to ditch city living and invest in lawnmowers and kayaks

Wikicommons
  • Tractor Supply Company recorded unprecedented sales this spring. Net sales grew approximately 35%.
  • The home improvement retailer expects this sales trend to continue through the fall, as consumers continue to work remotely and invest in their homes and outdoor spaces.
  • The chain plans to open 75 to 80 new stores, a revision from their previous outlook of 10 to 15 locations.
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Consumers spending more time at home this spring also spent more money on home renovations, which meant explosive second-quarter sales for home improvement and agriculture retailer Tractor Supply Company.

"We experienced unprecedented sales," Harry Lawton, President, CEO & Director of the company, said during the company's earnings call on Thursday. Net sales grew approximately 35% for the quarter, and comparable-store sales were up 30.5%.

As a result of this success, the chain plans to open 75 to 80 new stores, a revision of its previous guidance of 10 to 15 new stores. The biggest sales categories driving growth were lawn care and outdoor activities.
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"In the spring, customers were buying lawnmowers and kayaks and working in their yard on their fencing and their gates," Lawton said. Lawton expects the home care trend to continue through the fall, as the coronavirus continues to keep many consumers at home.

"Instead of lawnmowers and kayaks, they're going to shift to buying things like patio heaters and firewood and fire pits, but they're still going to be working on their land and on their homes. They're also going to continue to do things that are more outdoor-related, but are fall and winter oriented, such as things like raking leaves and winterizing their gardens."

Many consumers have also used the at-home time during the pandemic to learn homemaking skills like baking from scratch or growing a garden. Those self-sufficiency skills have also been idealized on social media with the rise of an aesthetic called "cottagecore," which offers a romanticized view on escaping into the simplicity of homesteading.
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Tractor's Supply's sales growth can be seen as part of a larger trend away from city living, as many urbanites fled their crowded apartments for homes in the suburbs and rural areas when stay-at-home orders began. Four months later, the US is now seeing record highs for daily COVID cases, and new hotspots are popping up across the country. Returning to the office seems like a distant reality with many companies officially remote until at least 2021. As a result, this renewed interest in greener pastures might become more than a stop-gap solution for restless city dwellers.

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