Farmers -- and shoppers -- in the Johnstown area no longer have to travel to Newark or elsewhere when looking for tractor supplies.
Tractor Supply Co., a large retail farm-and-ranch supply chain, opened Aug. 30 at 659 W. Coshocton St. (U.S. Route 62). A grand-opening celebration is planned for Sept. 6 at its 20,161-square-foot store.
Rob Hoskins, a spokesman for TSC, said Johnstown provided the kind of demographics the company seeks when choosing new locations.
"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," Hoskins told ThisWeek. "Concerning the location in Johnstown, this is especially true in that the area was attractive due to the part-time and hobby farmers and horse owners in the area. The TSC product category expertise includes lawn-and-garden and animal-care products that service the needs of these customers."
From the village's perspective, the TSC store will occupy what once was considered a problem area in the former Kroger space.
Village Manager Jim Lenner said he and other village leaders are happy to have something occupying the building.
"The fact that (TSC) was placed in an empty place with a low occupancy rate was even better," Lenner said. "It fills a vacant spot and breathes some life back into the location."
Perhaps more importantly, he said, TSC represents 12 to 17 full- and part-time employees, helping to move the village in the right direction.
"If we can get people to work here and live here and play here in town without driving somewhere else, that's a benefit for everybody," he said.
Lenner said Johnstown staff members didn't put too much work into bringing TSC into the village because of the autonomous nature of retail, but he said it provides a "good impact," referring to people coming into town and spending money in the village.
"Retail usually takes care of itself, so communities don't actively pursue retail," he said. "It goes where it's profitable after market analysis. They want to know how many rooftops are in the area ... and whether they're going to pull people away from their other locations."
The store will have a week of business under its belt before the grand opening Sept. 6. Between Sept. 4 and 7, TSC is celebrating the opening with giveaways, like TSC hats and gift cards, as well as various discounts.
Chicago businessman Charles E. Schmidt Sr. founded the company in 1938 as a mail-order tractor-parts business, according to TSC's website. By 1939, it had grown into a successful retail store in Minot, N.D. TSC now has more than 1,100 stores in 44 states.