“It’s been very steady,” said Tim Linch, 51, the store’s manager. “Early on, when everybody else was closed, people were coming in just because we were open. I’ve never seen so many people thank me.”
Tractor Supply’s good fortune — second-quarter profits jumped more than 50 percent — not only seems at odds with the overall collapse in business activity across the country, but also reflects the economic remodeling that the pandemic has unleashed. With record sales and earnings, the rural-oriented retailer is among a select group of companies that are prospering despite — or in some cases because of — the pandemic.
Microsoft says its Azure cloud-computing business booked record revenue in the quarter ended June 30. Consumer goods maker Church & Dwight expanded manufacturing capacity for its Arm & Hammer laundry detergent to keep pace with demand, even though sales of its Trojan-brand condoms slumped in an extreme example of social distancing. And Albertsons, the nation’s second-largest supermarket chain, reported that same-store sales leaped by more than 26 percent compared with the same period last year.
The rise of some companies, and the fall of others, comes as the economy struggles to recover from the record 9.5 percent quarterly decline in economic activity over the spring.
But rather than a temporary interruption of normal