Tractor Supply Company’s summer of sales
Tractor Supply Company pulled in an 8.5% net sales increase during the third quarter, despite having strong prior-year quarters to compete with.
Sales for the quarter ended Sept. 26 increased 8.5% to $1.48 billion, up from $1.36 billion in 2014.
Meanwhile, comparable store sales increased 2.9% from the prior year's third quarter, with the bulk of the increase driven by the consumable, usable and edible (C.U.E.) products, namely in the pet and animal categories, as well as some spring and summer categories such as trailers and fencing. However, there was some weakness in the fall seasonal sales cycle that offset these results, partially due to warmer weather in the north.
At $87.3 million, net income increased 14.0% from $76.6 million the year before.
Additionally, Tractor Supply opened 30 new stores and closed three during the quarter, making for a positive store count gain of 27.
"Overall, we are pleased with our third quarter results, particularly with our performance in C.U.E. products," said president and CEO Greg Sandfort. "The past two years of strong spring and summer sales presented us with a challenging quarter, but once again, our team did a great job of positioning the assortments to take advantage of the extended season. The warmer temperatures in early fall did impact late third quarter sales; however, we believe we have the appropriate assortments and marketing plans in place to meet our customers' needs as the winter season progresses."
Tractor Supply is also upping its guidance for the fiscal 2015 year, with net sales now projected to fall between $6.28 billion and $6.33 billion (up from $6.25 billion to $6.33 billion). Comparable store sales are now expected to fall between 4.0% to 4.5%, and net income is projected to fall between $413 million and $420 million.
Throwback Thursday: B and B Home Supply
The July 7, 1980, issue of National Home Center News, the precursor of Hardware + Building Supply Dealer, followed up on a twist in the career of Steve Feinstein, a longtime Forest City and Evans Retail executive.
By 1980, he had branched out on his own with a B and B Home Supply prototype, a 27,000-sq.-ft. DIY warehouse store in St. Louis. The store was to be the flagship for his small home center and rural-store chain.
The retail model featured a few interesting concepts:
• Big-ticket emphasis: Kitchen and bath merchandise dominated the front third of the store.
• Keep it simple merchandising: Low SKU count and “anyone in the store can sell anything,” he said.
• Three tiered service: Express check-out, regular sales-counter purchasing, or take-a-number fully personalized service.
• “No gingerbread:” That’s how Feinstein described the store’s look. Stencil signs and plain fixtures (sound familiar) were the order of the day.
• No paint, just stain: “There are plenty of other places to buy paint,” he told NHCN. “Why should we follow them?”
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There’s an app for that: Pavestone
Pavestone introduced an interactive app designed to help end users complete hardscape projects from start to finish.
Among the features are a project planner that details project specifications for a variety of spaces, a product search, an idea gallery and a video gallery that provides step-by-step project instructions.
“Based on the current marketplace, timing for our mobile app couldn’t be better,” said Ed Fioroni, PhD, VP marketing and sales for Pavestone. “In this competitive environment, defining a project and selecting the right products are critical for success. Our mobile app makes that process fast and easy from anywhere regardless of type, size, scope or location of a project.”
According to market researcher Freedonia Group, the five-year landscape project demand is forecast to grow 5.3% per year from $5.3 billion in 2014 to $8.2 billion in 2019. Of the four landscape project categories considered in the forecast, concrete pavers and segmental wall units project for the greatest annual growth at 7.3%.
In addition to nationwide access to Pavestone, product information for CST (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland), Willamette Graystone (Washingston, Oregon) and Flagstone (Fla.) is available to mobile app users geo-located or self-identified in appropriate areas. Pavestone, CST, Willamette Graystone and Flagstone are members of The Quikrete Companies segmental concrete products division.