How Tractor Supply does omnichannel
Roughly 100 new stores and significant digital enhancements are planned for Tractor Supply in 2018 after the rural lifestyle retailer produced a strong fourth quarter performance.
“Tractor Supply had a strong fourth quarter with comparable store sales growth of 4%, which included increases in both comparable store transaction count and average ticket. For the year, I am very pleased with the foundation we have established to build customer loyalty and to significantly enhance our digital capabilities. These initiatives were instrumental in driving traffic and sales,” said Greg Sandfort, Tractor Supply’s Chief Executive Officer.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30, Tractor Supply increased net sales by 1.9% to $1.95 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017 from $1.92 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016. Same store sales increased 4% versus an increase of 3.1% in the prior year’s fourth quarter.
All geographic regions of the company and all major product categories had positive comparable store sales growth. Continued strength in everyday basic items across the consumable, usable and edible categories along with winter and other seasonal products helped drive the comparable stores sales result.
Gross profit increased 3.5% to $668.6 million from $646.3 million and gross margin rate increased 50 basis points to 34.2% from 33.7% in the prior year’s fourth quarter. The increase in gross margin was primarily attributable to less promotional activity and improved sell-through rates on seasonal products during the quarter.
“Looking ahead, we believe Tractor Supply continues to have significant opportunities for growth. In 2018, we anticipate balancing investments between new store growth and our ONETractor strategic initiative, while also investing in the day-to-day business, to provide our customers with a seamless shopping experience anytime, anywhere and in any way they choose. We believe this balanced strategy positions us well to gain market share as we leverage our physical store assets and our growing digital capabilities. While these investments will partially offset the expected benefit from tax reform, we believe our strategic investments in the customer experience, stores, supply chain and most importantly, our store team members are the right steps to drive long-term sustainable growth and shareholder value,” Sandfort added.
The retailer plans to open a new distribution center, 80 new Tractor Supply and 20 new Petsense stores in 2018.
Net income was $109.7 million, or $0.87 per diluted share, compared to net income of $123.6 million, or $0.94 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The company opened 27 new Tractor Supply stores and closed seven Del’s stores in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 21 new store openings and one closure of a Del’s store in the prior year period. Additionally, in the fourth quarter of 2017, the company opened six new Petsense stores.
The company currently operates 1,685 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website at www.tractorsupply.com. It also operates 168 Petsense stores in 26 states.