- Looking to continue its expansion in the pet space, Tractor Supply is now offering pet prescription services online starting this quarter, the company announced during its fourth quarter earnings call late last month.
- In the Tractor Supply app, pet owners can now get professional veterinary advice on demand, Hal Lawton, the company's president and CEO said during the call. That includes the option to chat, call or email with veterinary professionals.
- The company also announced the expansion of its self-serve pet wash service across 150 stores to 200 stores and the addition of 50 to 75 more pet wellness centers.
As the pandemic has given rise to pet ownership, Tractor Supply is taking advantage of this trend by focusing on becoming a one-stop shop for pet owners.
Consumers continue to spend on their pets throughout the pandemic. In the middle of March last year, sales at Chewy increased by 42.5%, Petco was up 41.8%, PetSmart bumped to 36% and Pet Supplies Plus rose 76.4%, data from Earnest Research indicates.
Expanding pet supply inventory and entering the pet health space, as many big-box retailers have done, is a natural extension of Tractor Supply's business because it builds upon already established pet care services. Walmart and Target have also grown their influence in the space recently, for instance through developing in-store veterinary clinics and forming partnerships with pet subscription companies.
"Tractor Supply is the clear destination for this on-trend category," Lawton said in the call. "Given the strong trends we're seeing in our companion animal categories and the recent growth in pet ownership, we are focused on being a more complete resource for pet parents."
At the moment, Tractor Supply has vet services in about 1,600 store locations through mobile vet clinics, Lawton said.
The announcement also came as the company announced a record earnings report with net sales up 31.3% to $2.88 billion from $2.19 billion year over year.
Throughout the pandemic, the company has continued to invest in technology, and like many retailers, has seen a rise in its e-commerce sales growth. In its second quarter last year, Tractor Supply reported a triple-digit sales growth in e-commerce, and the fourth quarter was its third consecutive period of triple-digit growth in that metric. The company also referenced the introduction of new digital capabilities such as its first mobile app, curbside pickup, same-day and next-day delivery in its fourth quarter call.