- BJ’s Wholesale Club announced on Thursday four upcoming locations as part of its “first wave” of new clubs for this year, and its first BJ’s Market, which will be located in Rhode Island.
- The clubs in Lady Lake, Florida; Canton, Michigan; and Greenburgh, New York, will feature fresh foods and produce, a full-service deli, household essentials and pet supplies, while the BJ’s Market in Warwick, Rhode Island, will serve as an innovation lab to test new assortments, displays, product demonstrations and convenience initiatives.
- The announcement of the upcoming stores arrived the same day BJ’s missed estimates for its fourth quarter earnings and saw its stock plummet 14% premarket.
The four planned stores join a string of recent club opening announcements for BJ's this year and deepens its presence in existing states.
BJ's opened its first club this year in Commack, New York, in early January, expanding its footprint in Long Island. Since then, it opened a location in Port Charlotte, Florida, and Lansing, Michigan, bringing its total U.S. locations to 226.
Other than noting they are part of its “first phase of its 2022 development plans,” BJ’s did not provide specific timeframes for when they will open.
BJ’s said it expects each of the three new clubs to create approximately 150 jobs each, while BJ’s Market will create around 50 jobs.
Despite missing estimates for its Q4 results, BJ's reported comp club sales, excluding gasoline sales, increased by 0.9% from the same period a year ago and 16.8% on a two-year stack. Meanwhile, e-commerce sales grew 19% from a year ago and 187% on a two-year basis. During the quarter, which ended on Jan. 29, BJ's announced plans to purchase four refrigerated distribution centers from Burris Logistics to bolster the club retailer's cold chain management capabilities.
"2021 was the best year in the company’s history. Our strong financial results were underpinned by continued membership base expansion, a growing digital business and significant progress on key initiatives such as our real estate pipeline,” Bob Eddy, BJ's president and CEO, said in a statement.
Company executives, however, issued guidance for fiscal year 2022 as it continued to grapple with record-high inflation and "several unknowns." This included a net sales increase in the mid-single digit range, an increase in the low-single digital range for merchandise comp club sales and flat year-over-year merchandise margins.