After a bankruptcy and liquidation wiped 25 of its wholesale doors off the map, Carhartt has a new opportunity to get its durable, down-home garments in front of customers far from America’s urban centers.
The heritage workwear maker is expanding its footprint with Tractor Supply, the pair announced Tuesday. The decades-long partners are broadening the shop-in-shop experience they’ve piloted in 10 of the rural lifestyle retailer’s more than 1,900 stores over the past three years, adding 100 more this year and another 25 in 2022.
“By expanding our presence at these retail locations, Tractor Supply shoppers will experience the Carhartt brand in a whole new way,” said Tony Ambroza, chief brand officer at Carhartt. “We look forward to growing our longstanding partnership with Tractor Supply as we work to bring our rugged workwear products to the country’s hardest-working people.”
The strengthened partnership will incorporate more of Carhartt’s products into the Tractor Supply shop-in-shops. Shoppers can browse a selection of pants, jeans, fleece, rain gear, bibs and more, in men’s, women, kids, plus sizes and big and tall, “most of which are not currently available in Tractor Supply stores,” the retailer said.
Tractor Supply’s metrics offer enticing upsides for Carhartt. Twenty percent of new customers become repeat buyers within 28 days of their first purchase, CEO Harry Lawton told investors on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call in January. And while many new shoppers flock to Tennessee-based retailer for its poultry and pet offerings, they typically “broaden their purchases across things like apparel and garden next,” Lawton added, noting that Tractor Supply’s net sales gained 31.3 percent in Q4 as comparable store sales climbed 27.3 percent.
Branding and signage consistent with the appearance of Carhartt’s own 33 stores demarcate the shop-in-shop experience, which spanned 1,200 feet to 1,400 feet in the inaugural pilots in California, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey and New York.
Tractor Supply’s millions of shoppers “depend on Carhartt for comfortable, durable clothes to get the job done,” Seth Estep, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Tractor Supply, said in a statement. “By partnering with Carhartt to double our selection, our stores have even more of what makes Tractor Supply a destination for everything—workwear and otherwise—that our customers need to take care of their home, land, pets and animals.”