OXFORD – Construction of the Tractor Supply Store on Route 26 is expected to be completed by March 2009, store officials announced this week.

Construction of the store at 1272 Main St. by Benchmark Construction of Westbrook started last August and has progressed quickly with the steel frame going up in the last few weeks.

Officials say the store will have 19,097 square feet including a sales floor and a support service space. A fenced exterior space will be built for storage and display of items such as fencing and livestock equipment.

The store’s opening is expected to bring another 12 to 17 new jobs to the area, according to Ashley Carlton, spokesperson for the Tennessee-based Tractor Supply Co. store.

Tractor Supply Co., which operates 791 stores in 43 states, including stores in Skowhegan and Scarborough, focuses on providing products for the needs of farmers and ranchers. It also provides merchandise for those people who just enjoy the rural lifestyle, whether it be owning a small pet or cultivating a backyard garden.

The Tractor Supply Co. store started in 1938 as a mail-order business. In 2008, the store is the largest retail farm and ranch store in the United States, according to store officials.

Merchandise includes farm maintenance hardware, lawn maintenance, home improvement fencing, pet care needs, agricultural products, tools and hardware, garden power equipment and more.

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