Tractor Supply seeks to flex online muscle
Tractor Supply CEO Greg Sandfort borrowed phrases from trendy multichannel retailers when he recently described his company’s online strategy.
“We have to have our site geared to giving customers the options for any way they like to engage with us,“ Sandfort said during the recent Goldman Sachs investor conference.
Sandfort said Tractor Supply, with more than 1,200 mostly rural retail stores around the country, understands that there are “hundreds” of online sources for consumers to buy the things that Tractor Supply sells. But the company has every intention to gain share and grow its online operation.
The company’s online directive is to be an easy, 24/7 source that fulfills customers’ product needs for property ownership and animal ownership.
One interesting observation: 30% of the consumers are coming to Tractor Supply’s website from a mobile device. “That tells me they have some savviness with technology.“
He added: “Never underestimate the social aspect of a website.”
“The power of the social side and how it can drive business longer term and its impression to the consumer is going to be something we all must pay attention to,” he said. “Look for us over the next few years to enhance our customer engagement, buying, shopping and researching products easer.”
The NRF tells Congress to get back to work
The National Retail Federation (NRF) sent a letter to congressional leaders Oct. 9 urging the government to end its ongoing shutdown with a continuing resolution.
“We strongly support passage of both a continuing resolution to provide for funding of the federal government into the next fiscal year and a measure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in the letter.
In the letter, Shay stressed that the government shutdown has already taken its toll on consumer spending and consumer confidence, highlighting a recent Gallup poll demonstrating that consumer confidence is at its lowest since the 2008 collapse. In addition, he pointed to the lack of economic data, as well as absence of the FCC and Customs and Border Protection.
“For retailers – who represent the sector of the American economy most closely tied to consumer attitudes – these numbers are deeply disturbing,” Shay said. “Moreover, since the very modest growth the U.S. economy has experienced following the 2008 recession has been attributed to the willingness of the American consumer to keep shopping, a lasting decline in consumer confidence is likely to translate into increased unemployment and slower growth in coming months.”
“Washington can’t keep governing from crisis to crisis and quarter to quarter. Kicking the can down the road may be the norm these days in Washington, but it is an irresponsible approach to the problems confronting our nation. …We need leadership from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue on the key issues facing our country, particularly policies that put the economy on a firm footing for long-term growth.”
“It’s time for Congress to get our government back to work – and time for Congress itself to get back to work on building a strong, stable national economy that will restore the United States to its rightful place as the leader of the global economy," he concluded.
The NRF plans to continue coordinating efforts to pressure the government to reopen, and will be working closely with retailers, small business owners and grassroots advocates.