RealTime IT News

How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm...

Tractor Supply Co. launched a Web-based retail operation with the opening of an equine supply and equipment "store" at a new virtual mall that will be expanded over the next several months to include as many as a dozen "tenants."

Blake A. Fohl, vice president of marketing and advertising for Tractor Supply, said the move "means that the number of products we offer our customers can now become significantly larger than the product line that our 253 stores can house. We offer about 15,000 different items in our current locations; within the first six months of operating our virtual mall, we expect to be able to offer our customers more than 500,000 unique items."

The "stores" within the Tractor Supply mall are operated by Tractor Supply's vendors, taking advantage of the manufacturers' pre-existing distribution functions. In the case of the equine store, the manufacturer is BMB Tack. The site is designed and operated entirely by Tractor Supply staff at the company's Store Support Center in Nashville.

"We will build traffic for our Web site and its tenants by promoting it on 1,500 television spots; 250,000 radio spots; and 115 million copies of our circulars this year," said Fohl.

The Tractor Supply online equine store offers equipment and supplies ranging from bridles and halters to grooming and health products. Founded as a mail-order tractor parts business in 1938, Tractor Supply Co. has grown to be the largest operator of retail farm stores in America.