Tractor Supply ups its store growth potential

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Tractor Supply Co. has increased its estimated domestic store growth potential to 2,100 locations from a previously estimated 1,800 stores.

Jim Wright, chairman and CEO, stated: “Over the past four years, we have effectively tested and validated the viability of the Tractor Supply store model in small markets. We are pleased that we are able to generate a comparable rate of return on investment in these markets, which opens up additional growth opportunities for Tractor Supply stores. We believe we have a long runway of growth ahead of us.”

In working toward its expanded goal of 2,100 stores, Tractor Supply will continue to target square footage growth of approximately 8% annually, which has been a “very manageable” growth rate for the company, Wright said.

Also, building on its momentum in fiscal 2011, Tractor Supply increased its long-term operating margin target to 9.5% from its previous target of 8.5%. (The chain's operating margin was 8.3% in 2011.)

Greg Sandfort, president and COO, stated: “We have achieved record operating margins the past two years as structural changes including our Consumable, Useable, Edible (CUE) strategy, customer acquisition strategy and continuous improvement program have contributed to our strong results. Additionally, we are still in the early stages of executing our strategic gross margin initiatives, which we remain intensely focused on and from which we believe we will continue to gain traction.”