Farm and feed retailer Tractor Supply Company announced Monday it will add 5,000 new jobs during the current coronavirus outbreak, calling the hiring drive its “most ambitious” ever.
The Tennessee-based public company will make both full-time and part-time positions available throughout its stores, which number nearly 1,900, and its eight distribution centers in 49 states.
“We have the privilege of being an essential retailer who sells goods that are demand-based and needs-driven,” Hal Lawton, Tractor Supply president and CEO, told the Nashville Business Journal. “Our customers rely on us for the feed for their animals, food for their pets and all the upkeep for their land, farms and really to manage their lives.”
The hiring spree comes as many businesses have shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, abruptly turning around what had been record-low unemployment in the United States.
Lawton, who took the helm of Tractor Supply Company in January, has instituted social distancing practices in the company’s stores, including the sanitizing of shopping carts and cash register stations.
He told the Journal:
We’ve seen nice results in the business. We also know that we’re asking a lot of our team members at this time in terms of sanitation, but also with the increased stress and anxiety they have on them. A combination of all those factors led us to hiring some additional team members. We’re pleased that we can contribute to the broader economy during these times with our hiring efforts.
In a press release, Tractor Supply announced the ways in which it is protecting the health and safety of its employees. Lawton said:
At Tractor Supply, our top priority is the health and safety of our Team Members and customers. We have executed a number of actions over the past three weeks, and today we are announcing additional changes that allow us to better serve our customers’ needs during this time of crisis.
This week, in all stores, we will add a dedicated greeter and roll out contactless curbside pickup with dedicated parking for Buy Online, Pickup In Store. We also will complete our nationwide rollout of Buy Online Same Day/Next Day Delivery. We are continuing to implement numerous measures to promote social distancing in our stores and rapidly provide personal protective equipment to Team Members. I can’t thank the Tractor Supply team enough for all they have accomplished in the last few weeks. I am incredibly proud of how they have responded to take care of each other and serve our customers.
Among the benefit enhancements Tractor Supply announced for its Team Members are:
- Extending from April 25 to May 9 its previously announced $2 per hour appreciation bonus to all frontline hourly Team Members.
- Announcing 100% coverage of COVID-19 medical treatment under the Company’s medical plan.
- Waiving cost-sharing for telehealth visits for any reason under the Company’s medical plan, helping Team Members limit potential exposure in physician offices and giving needed relief to medical facilities.
Tractor Supply has also donated $500,000 to its Employee Assistance Fund to help staff affected by the coronavirus outbreak.