Tractor Supply prelim sales jump 7.5%

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Tractor Supply prelim sales jump 7.5%

By Andy Carlo - 04/07/2020
Tractor Supply Company reported preliminary financial reports for the first quarter 2020 and said net sales increased 7.5% to $1.96 billion from $1.82 billion in the first quarter of 2019.

The farm and ranch retailer reported comparable store sales increased 4.3% compared to a 5.0% increase in the prior year’s first quarter.

The report follows the company's Brentwood, Tenn.based company's announcement that it will hire 5,000 full-time and part-time associates across its 1,863 stores.

Additionally, the company has added dedicated greeters to emphasize social distancing while ramping up its “contactless” curbside pickup with dedicated parking for “Buy Online, Pickup in Store." Tractor Supply is completing a nationwide rollout of “Buy Online Same Day/Next Day Delivery.”

Starting in early March, Tractor Supply said that it benefited from strong sales as consumers stocked up on core everyday consumable, usable and edible merchandise categories related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This stock-up activity more than offset the decline in cold-weather seasonal categories sales in January and February resulting from generally warmer weather conditions, the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company said.

For the March period, overall comp store sales increased 12% above the prior year with key consumable categories up more than 20%, offset by declines in discretionary categories such as clothing, footwear, toys and gift items The retailer’s e-commerce business also experienced significant growth in March.

All of the Tractor Supply’s stores and e-commerce operations are open and plan to remain open, the company reported. As of March 28, the company had more than $450 million in cash and cash equivalents and approximately $165 million in available liquidity through existing credit facilities.

While Tractor Supply will continue to invest in its business and team members, the company has suspended its share repurchase activity effective March 12.

Tractor Supply will issue its full first quarter 2020 results on April 23, prior to the opening of the market.

As of March 28, Tractor Supply operates 1,863 stores in 49 states and 180 Petsense stores in 26 states.

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The bottom line: Preliminary first quarter sales are up 7.5% to $1.96 million for Tractor Supply.

What the CEO said: “During these unprecedented times, I am incredibly proud of how the Tractor Supply team has responded to take care of each other and our customers. As an essential, needs-based retailer, Tractor Supply is committed to supporting our customers’ ability to take care of their families, property and animals,” said Hal Lawton, Tractor Supply president and CEO.  “As we progressed through the first quarter, our comparable store sales growth tracked in line with our expectations. Beginning in early March as the COVID-19 crisis evolved, we saw a significant increase in our comparable store sales with a focus in our consumable categories such as companion animal food, livestock feed and heating fuel and other core categories like agricultural fencing, safes, generators and sustainable living.”

Company info: Tractor Supply’s full preliminary first quarter 2020 update can be read here.