Tractor Supply Company has joined the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition to bring high-speed internet to rural communities, the company announced on Wednesday. The funds will support the organization's efforts to improve broadband availability in rural communities through 4-H Clubs, libraries, county extension offices and other access points.
The retailer has pledged to donate $1 for every download of its mobile app by Dec. 31, up to $1 million. The company is "actively rolling out" new app features, the retailer said.
Tractor Supply is also piloting free Wi-Fi access from select store parking lots during operating hours.
In May, Tractor Supply announced the rollout of its mobile app and revealed that over 70% of the retailer's online traffic is coming from mobile devices. Then, a couple months later, the company reported triple digit e-commerce sales growth in its second quarter earnings. Given that the retailer primarily serves rural communities, assisting the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition in its goal to provide internet access to more than 3 million unserved rural residents by July 2022 may prove beneficial.
"As the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, Tractor Supply is committed to supporting those who live and love this lifestyle," Tractor Supply CEO Hal Lawton said in a statement. "Our nation relies heavily on these communities, so it is imperative we all work together to ensure they have what they need to thrive. By joining the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition and participating in these initiatives to close the digital gap, we are striving to do just that."
Tractor Supply isn't alone in its digital success. As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, other essential retailers like Target and Walmart have reported dramatic growth in digital sales. Meanwhile, other retailers including GameStop have had to close physical stores despite e-commerce gains.