Tractor Supply’s center store experiment
During the farm-and-ranch giant’s second-quarter earnings call, CEO Greg Sandfort described the strategic importance of the chain’s center court area and drive aisle.
The areas are honed to boost sales per square foot as they host special events and introduce new and seasonal products, Sandfort told investors.
"This not only enhances our customer shopping experience and expands the overall size of the customers market basket, but it also signals to our merchant teams what products our customers have the most interest in purchasing as we build forward assortments," he said.
Sandfort pointed to a garden event promoting seasonal commodities such as seed, soil and fertilizers, and a "Chick Days" supplying merchandise for raising poultry.
"Both of these planned events performed well, delivering results above the prior year," Sandfort said.
During the second quarter, Tractor Supply posted a sales gain of 12.7% to $1.46 billion.
Sandfort also described plans for a new format around the left hand side of the store layout. "We are expanding what we call the hardware set and we’re revamping it," he said.
Tractor Supply will move several hundred stores into this "new format" this year, he added. "We’ve tested it for a few years now, we’re happy with the results and you will see the left-hand side changing a bit.
Merchandise tweaks are also continuing in the automotive, truck and tool arena in the back of the store, he said.
Milwaukee Tool introduces tape measures
Milwaukee, Wis.-based Milwaukee Tool added to its growing hand tool line with the introduction of the company’s first-ever tape measure products.
Coming to market over the next six months, the new tape measures have Nylon Bond Blade Protection and a five-point reinforced frame for jobsite durability.
Developers of the product identified two key frustrations of tape measure users: numbers would wear away, and the housing would break. "As a result of our user-focused research process, we set out to solve these common frustrations and have delivered a line of tools that have truly earned Milwaukee’s Nothing But Heavy Duty badge of honor," said Whitney Moks, product manager for Milwauke Tool.
The line will include nine magnetic tape measures and nine non-magnetic tape measures varying in lengths from 16 feet to 35 feet, or from 5 meters to 10 meters (or in combination of both measuring systems).
The tools also will feature "an innovative Finger Stop area to hold the blade in place instead of using the lock," the company said.
Leviton hires technical sales specialist
As Melville, N.Y.-based Leviton expands its factory trainings offering, the company hired Patrick Donnelly as a technical sales specialist.
Donnelly will take the lead in creating trainings targetedfor installers and potential Five Star dealers who wish to become part of Leviton’s Security & Automation integrator Program for Commercial Initiatives.
"Patrick Donnelly brings a wealth of experience, talent and industry knowledge to this role," said William Marshall, Leviton’s senior VP of sales and marketing."
Prior to joining Leviton, Donnelly worked as a senior account manager at AVAD LLC. He began his career as an electrical engineer.