Tuesday April 12, 2011

Tractor Supply in Pulaski ‘Exceeding Expectations’

Chain has more than 1,000 stores across the country
By Suzanne M. Ellis

    The new Tractor Supply store in Pulaski has been up and running for more than four months now, and all indications are that business is brisk.

    “Very good, exceeding expectations,” said Rob Hoskins, a spokesman from media relations at Tractor Supply, when asked about the company’s newest store.

    Pulaski store manager Angie LoBello, of Granby, agreed.

    “It’s going fantastic, and we are busy,” LoBello said. “We are very proud and happy to be a part of this community, and the community has been wonderful to us.”

    The store held its grand opening in mid-November with pony rides, disc jockeys from two radio stations, a chicken barbecue sponsored by the local Lions Club and other special attractions.

    “The customers all loved it, and it was a very successful opening,” LoBello said.

    Tractor Supply is the largest retail ranch- and farm-supply store chain in the United States, and the Pulaski store was the 58th to open in New York state. Other stores in the central and Upstate market include Auburn, Clay, East Syracuse, Fulton, Lowville, Oneida, Oswego, Rome and Watertown.

    The company recently exceeded the 1,000-store mark in the U.S., Hoskins said, and it has announced the opening of another store in Seneca Falls later this year. There are Tractor Supply stores in 44 states, according to the company’s website.

    “As a growth-minded company, Tractor Supply Co. is always looking for potential new store locations that are a good fit as far as the target market is concerned,” he said. The first store in New York opened in 1986.

    The Pulaski store is in the former Ames department store at 3779 state Route 13. Construction started in early August of 2010, and the doors opened Nov. 6. Tractor Supply occupies 21,060 square feet, which includes the sales floor and office space. Outside, a fenced area holds seasonal and other displays.

    As of early March, the Pulaski store had six full-time employees, including LoBello, and eight part-time employees, she said. Their stores usually employ between 12 and 17, Hoskins said.

    LoBello is an Oswego County native, having grown up on a dairy farm in Palermo and graduated in 1997 from John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix. Her career at Tractor Supply started in 2002 as an assistant manager at the Fulton store. She later was a manager at a Tractor Supply store in Sayre, Pa., and the one in Oswego on state Route 104 East. LoBello was an assistant manager at a CT Farm and Country store prior to joining Tractor Supply.

    Business environment strong

    Pulaski Mayor Ernest Wheeler said the new business is a welcome addition to the village, along with the new Byrne Dairy that opened on Route 13 last summer.

    “The way the economy is now, every little bit helps with the tax base,” said Wheeler. “This is a great help for the village, plus they’re employing new people and they are bringing people into the village that don’t live here. There’s definitely a ripple effect because when they come to shop at Tractor Supply, they’ll stop at Arby’s or Burger King or McDonald’s or Ponderosa, and sometimes they’ll go to other stores in the village, too.”

    Tractor Supply began its operation in 1938 when Charles E. Schmidt Sr., of Chicago, operated a mail-order business for tractor parts, according to the website. By 1939, it was a retail store in Minot, N.D. Today’s customer base includes full- and part-time farmers, hobby farmers, contractors and rural homeowners.

    Merchandise can be “personalized” depending on the store’s location, Hoskins said.

    “Our customers in different regions of the country have different product needs, and we have seasonal items that are offered based on the time of year,” he said.

    “Because we are a corporation and not a franchise operation, we can special-order pretty much anything the customer needs,” store manager LoBello said. “But if a community has specific needs, we will do our best to stock those items.”

    Tractor Supply stores sell merchandise for the health, care, growth and containment of horses, livestock and pets.

    They carry a broad selection of agricultural products, plus tools and hardware. The company also sells light truck equipment, work clothing for children and adults and a large line of seasonal products, including lawn and garden power equipment.

    LoBello said she really enjoys working at Tractor Supply, where employees are referred to as team members.

    “I just think this is a fantastic company to work for, and they are great to their team members,” she said. “I love our customers, and I love the hometown feel we have in our stores. You get to know your customers by name, you know their spouses, their kids, their pets, and you keep up with their lives.”

Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 164

Issue 164
October/November 2019

Cover Story

  • Cruse Control
  • Jeff Cruse takes over as top leader for Novelis’ Oswego Works


Linda Eagan

On The Job

What type of marketing do you find most effective?

Success Stories

The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County

My Turn

Why President Trump Won’t Admit Mistakes


News Briefs on Local Businesses & Business People

Economic Trends

Oswego County IDA Recapitalizes Popular Loan Program

Last Page

Rodmon King