Gregory A. Sandfort is the man responsible for running the Tractor Supply Company as its current CEO. He has been in said position since December of 2012, meaning that he has had a fair amount of influence over how it is run.
1. Went to the University of Louisville
For his education, Sandfort chose the University of Louisville, which can be found in Louisville, KY. The school is famous for a number of reasons. For example, it has a competitive sports program. However, it has an even better School of Medicine, as shown by how it was responsible for the first successful hand transplant as well as the first successful 100 percent self-contained artificial heart transplant.
2. Has More Than Four Decades of Retail Experience
In total, Sandfort can claim more than four decades of retail experience (http://ir.tractorsupply.com/corporate-governance). As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that he has an exhaustive understanding of the retail sector that encompasses the full range of relevant functions. Suffice to say that this is something that has proven very useful for him in his current role, seeing as how CEOs have such wide-ranging responsibilities.
3. Spent 8 Years At The Michaels Companies, Inc.
The Tractor Supply Company isn’t the first place where Sandfort has risen to a position of prominence. For instance, he spent a total of 8 years at The Michaels Companies, which oversees retailers that specialize in arts, crafts, and other products that might interest DIYers. There, Sandfort spent some time as a Chief Merchandising Officer as well as an Executive Vice President before rising to the position of both Chief Operating Officer and President.
4. Spent Some Time As a Chief Merchandising Officer At the Tractor Supply Company
When Sandfort headed over to the Tractor Supply Company, he started out as a Chief Merchandising Officer, which is a very important position for a retailer. After all, the Chief Merchandising Officer is responsible for determining what a retailer will be selling to its potential customers based on the prevailing trends. As a result, it is no coincidence that in some companies, the Chief Merchandising Officer is considered to be the second-highest position, seeing as how their responsibilities are fundamental for a retailer’s core revenue-earning operations.
5. Spent Some Time As a Chief Operating Officer At the Tractor Supply Company
Later, Sandfort rose to the position of Chief Operating Officer at the Tractor Supply Company, which would be the position that is responsible for overseeing a business’s operations. With that said, he didn’t actually spent a great deal of time in said position, seeing as how he was the COO for just 11 months before he received a promotion to his current position.
6. Board Member of Kirkland’s
Besides being the CEO of the Tractor Supply Company, Sandfort is a member of the Board of Directors for Kirkland’s. In short, Kirkland’s is a retailer that specializes in home decor, as shown by products that range from furniture to accessories. The retailer has hundreds of stores situated throughout most of the United States. However, it has an online website where interested individuals can make purchases as well.
7. Board Member of WD-40 Company
Speaking of which, Sandfort is a board member for the WD-40 Company as well. For those who are curious, the WD-40 Company is named thus because it manufactures a product called WD-40, which is a penetrating oil that can be used as a water displacer. As such, WD-40 can be used to provide lubrication as well as protection from moisture, thus making it very useful for industrial companies plus other customers. It is interesting to note that WD-40 was introduced in the 1950s but has remained as a trade secret that has never been patented. As such, it is produced by four plants situated in different countries before being shipped to other facilities that are responsible for blending as well as packaging said product.
8. Credited with Understanding of Changing Consumer Preferences
One of the factors cited for Sandfort’s usefulness to the Tractor Supply Company is his understanding of changing consumer preferences. This is critical because consumers’ interest in certain products as well as the way that they prefer to get those products can see significant changes within very short periods of time. As a result, it is necessary for retailers to pay close attention to these changing trends, lest they end up flat-footed because they were caught unprepared by some kind of fundamental shift in how their businesses should be operating.
9. Plays a Critical Role for Omni-Channel Strategy
On a related note, Sandfort has been said to be playing a critical role for what is called the ONETractor Initiative, which is an excellent example of omni-channel strategies. For those who are curious, omni-channel strategies are when companies seek to create a seamless shopping experience for their customers whether said individuals are making use of their e-commerce websites, their brick and mortar stores, or some other channel altogether. There is a huge emphasis on the integration of these various channels with one another, which doesn’t just help in streamlining operations but also improving customer experience by enabling them to keep up-to-date with one another.
10. Runs a Retailer that Is Focused On Places Besides Metropolitan Centers
Considering the kind of products sold by the Tractor Supply Company, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that its brick-and-mortar stores tend to be found in places besides major metropolitan centers. To be exact, these locations tend to be situated in two kinds of places, with one being smaller communities situated towards the edge of metropolitan areas and the other being rural communities. Having said that, the Tractor Supply Company’s locations tend to be pretty sizable, with the cited figure being an average of 15,500 square feet of indoor selling space matched by a similar amount of outdoor selling space.