Spotlight Tractor Supply: A Passion for Rural Life “Out Here”May 06, 2022
Tractor Supply Company is the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the US, offering a range of products for home, land, pets, and animals—everything except tractors. With more than 2,000 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and digital and mobile apps for anytime, anywhere access, the firm describes its passion as serving a unique niche: the needs of recreational farmers, ranchers and anyone who enjoys living a rural “Out Here” lifestyle.
Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, Tractor Supply’s first store opened in 1938 in Minot, North Dakota, after its founder established a successful mail-order catalog for tractor parts. Today the firm also operates Petsense, a specialty retailer that brings pet products and services to small communities, which brings us to this Knowledge Leader’s rich accumulation of intangible assets. As the firm explains in its most recent annual report, the Petsense brand has an indefinite useful life on the basis that it is expected to contribute to growth beyond the foreseeable horizon. Another source of intellectual property for this 80-year-old firm is its distribution network. Tractor Supply uses warehouse and labor management tools for planning, control, and processing of inventory, as well as a transportation management system to optimize distance between stores and minimize logistics. In addition, the firm has deployed digital marketing and data analytics to engage with customers who shop in-store and draw new customers outside of retail locations, offering same day delivery through its digital app. Digital orders account for about 76% of sales.
Tractor Supply’s first LEED Gold Certified distribution warehouse is expected to open this fall in Ohio. The firm has committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. Tractor Supply believes that structural trends like rural revitalization, trip consolidation, self-reliant lifestyles, homesteading and pet ownership are durable and will continue to benefit its business for years to come.
As of 3/31/22, Tractor Supply Company was held in the Knowledge Leaders Strategy.