By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
For the past year or so, rumors have persisted that Tractor Supply Co. was going to open a store in Atmore. The rumors became reality last week, when city officials confirmed that the national retailer would soon set up shop in the former Ramey’s building on Lindbergh Avenue.
Mayor Jim Staff said not everyone is happy with the news but pointed out that the store would begin to pay dividends to the city as soon as it opened.
“It will be competition for some folks, but there will be a lot of things there you can’t buy anywhere else in town,” the mayor said. “I don’t know how many folks will be working there, but I think it will be ten or so, and look at the sales tax revenue we’re going to be getting.”
Tractor Supply Co. officials had not replied by Tuesday’s press deadline to a request for comments, construction timelines and other information on the Atmore store, but crews from Daphne-based Fulcrum Construction Group began interior demolition, removing ceiling tiles and light fixtures, on Tuesday (February 11).
The company, headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn. and regarded as “the largest rural lifestyles retailer in the U.S.,” was formed in 1938 by Charles E. Schmidt, who operated a mail order tractor parts business from his kitchen table in Minot, N.D. The company’s website shows that as of December 28, 2019, TSC operated 1,844 stores in 49 states.
A typical Tractor Supply retail center is comprised of 15,500 square feet of sales space, along with a similar area of outside space. City of Atmore Codes Enforcement Officer Chris Black said the Ramey’s building consists of approximately 26,763 square feet, which would make it one of the company’s largest stores.
According to the company’s website, Tractor Supply carries “everything to maintain farms, ranches, homes and animals.” Its product line ranges from clothing and boots to tractor and trailer parts and includes parts for sprinkler and irrigation systems, as well as welding and pump supplies.
TSC has not yet purchased a business license, but City Clerk Becca Smith reported that such a license is not required until the store opens for business. Neither is a license required for demolition.