Tractor Supply filling vacant Winn-Dixie supermarket space in Phenix City, expects to open in September

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 3, 2013 

Long-vacant space in a Phenix City shopping center on U.S. Hwy. 280/431 will soon have new life.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply Co. said Wednesday it is filling the former Winn-Dixie supermarket spot at 2012 U.S. Hwy. 280/431 North.

Construction to prepare the store for the new retail format is tentatively scheduled for completion in mid-September, Tractor Supply media representative representative Michael Graham said via email. It will employ between 12 to 17 people full- and part-time, he said.

“Phenix City is a great fit due to the part-time and hobby farmers and horse owners in the area,” Tractor Supply district manager Brantley Felintin said in a statement.

The stores typically carry supplies and food for pets and livestock. Inventory also includes lawn and garden equipment, power tools, fencing and work clothing for men and women.

Tractor Supply will be locating in space once occupied by Winn-Dixie, which shut its doors in 2005 amid a massive round of store closings by its corporate parent. The shopping center’s tenants now include Hibbett Sports, Dollar Tree, Subway and an H&R Block outlet. An Applebee’s restaurant is also on the property.

The demise of the Winn-Dixie followed the 2001 closing of a FoodMax grocery store across the street. That shopping center is anchored by a Kmart department store, with the former FoodMax space remaining vacant until being converted to A&K Thrift Mall last year. Both of the grocery stores exited the area after the opening of a Walmart Supercenter just north of their locations on U.S. Hwy. 280/431.

Tractor Supply dates to 1938 when it was founded as a mail-order business in Chicago. It currently has 1,175 stores in 45 states, typically locating in smaller rural communities or on the outskirts of larger cities.

The company, which trades on the Nasdaq stock exchange, reported net income of $276.5 million on net sales of $4.6 billion in 2012. It estimates sales will rise to just over $5 billion this year. It also is on a growth spurt, opening 85 stores in 2011 and 93 in 2012.

The only other Tractor Supply store in Columbus is at 6713 Flat Rock Rd. The retailer also has locations at 2600 Pepperell Parkway in Opelika, Ala., and 100 Plantation Way in LaGrange, Ga.

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