Tractor Supply ramping up expansion; to open 80 stores in 2024

Tractor Supply has set a long-term target of 3,000 stores.
Tractor Supply ended the year with 2,216 namesake stores.

Tractor Supply Company is upping its store openings in 2024 despite a disappointing fourth quarter.

The nation’s largest rural lifestyle retailer’s capital plans for 2024 include opening 80 Tractor Supply stores (up from 70 in 2023) and 10 to 15 new Petsense by Tractor Supply stores as well as continuing its “Project Fusion” remodels and garden center revamps. 

In July, citing “market insights,” Tractor Supply increased its long-term store target to 3,000 locations, up 200 stores from its previous guidance. (In 2025 and beyond, the company plans to accelerate its growth to 90 new stores a year. It currently has 2,216 locations. )

The retailer reported that its net sales decreased 8.6% to $3.66 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 30, down from $4.01 billion in the year-ago period. (The prior year’s fourth quarter included an extra sales week as part of the company’s 53-week calendar in 2022, which negatively impacted the period over period sales performance by approximately 5.6 percentage points.) The decrease was also attributable to a decline in comparable store sales, partially offset by positive sales contributions from new stores. 

Comparable store sales fell 4.2%, driven by a comparable average ticket decline of 1.5% and a comparable average transaction count decline of 2.7%. The comp performance reflected continued strength in year-round consumable, usable and edible (“C.U.E.”) categories, which was offset by softness in cold weather products, discretionary categories and, to a lesser extent, big ticket items, the company said.

Tractor Supply's fourth-quarter net income decreased 8.5% to $247.9 million from $270.9 million in the year-ago period.  Earnings per share decreased 6.2% to $2.28 compared to $2.43 last year. The benefit of the 53rd week contributed approximately $0.16 to diluted EPS in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“While our financial performance in 2023 did not meet our initial expectations, our team successfully navigated a highly dynamic environment with agility, operational resiliency and a focus on our strategic investments,” said president and CEO Hal Lawton. “As we exit 2023, our business has never been stronger. Our healthy customer engagement, all time high customer satisfaction scores, peak productivity of our supply chain, technology enhancements and the scaled transformation of our store base all serve as proof points of the strength of our business.”

For the full year, net sales increased 2.5% to $14.56 billion from $14.20 billion in fiscal 2022. Comparable store sales were even with the prior year versus a 6.3% increase in fiscal 2022. Net income increased 1.7% to $1.11 billion from $1.09 billion.

 During fiscal 2023, the company opened 70 new Tractor Supply stores and 13 new Petsense by Tractor Supply stores, and closed one Tractor Supply store and one Petsense by Tractor Supply store. It also rebranded 81 Orscheln Farm and Home stores to Tractor Supply that it acquired in 2022.

As of Dec. 30, 2023, the company operated 2,216 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and 198 Petsense by Tractor Supply stores in 23 states.

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