- BJ’s Wholesale Club posted a 5.3% year-over-year increase in comparable-store sales excluding gasoline during the third quarter of 2022, with strong shopper demand for groceries lifting the company’s performance, President and CEO Bob Eddy said during an earnings call Thursday.
- Net sales rose 12.3% in Q3 compared with the same time frame in 2021, to just under $4.7 billion, while adjusted earnings per share rose nearly 9%.
- Performance during Q3 exceeded BJ’s expectations, and the period turned out to be the most profitable third quarter in the company’s history, Eddy said.
BJ’s had expected that Q3 would be its most challenging quarter of the year from the standpoint of comparable-store sales, but healthy foot traffic in its stores and sales per member helped the retailer turn in strong results, Eddy said.
Comp sales in BJ’s grocery, perishables and sundries division rose by about 6% on a year-over-year basis during the period, which ended Oct. 29, Chief Financial Officer Laura Felice said during the call. The metric rose 12% on a two-year stack and was up 31% when measured against the third quarter of 2019, according to Felice.
To attract shoppers, BJ’s channeled profits from exceptionally robust gasoline sales during the quarter into holding down prices, Eddy said, noting that the company strives to keep prices at its gas pumps as low as possible to bring people to its locations.
“It’s sort of a core part of our strategy and dovetails nicely when you’re trying to show value to members every day,” Eddy said.
Strong gas sales also helped push sales ahead for BJ’s earlier in the year.
Eddy added that BJ’s internal data indicate that the company’s competitive pricing positions were stronger during Q3 than they were during the third quarter of 2021. “We’ve been gaining market share all year long, both in gas and in our grocery business, and I don’t see that slowing down at all,” he said.
Eddy noted that BJ’s fresh food assortment is a key draw for shoppers and said the company has been moving ahead with efforts to manage those items more efficiently to help hold down costs. The company has already moved its perishable supply chain capabilities in-house, and it is now beginning work on efforts to improve how it handles sourcing, packaging, lead times and other aspects of its fresh business, he said.
Even as it continued to weather inflation during Q3, BJ’s has seen price pressures come down for some products, Felice said. For example, costs for commodities like chicken, milk and cheese have eased, she said.
E-commerce was also a source of strength for BJ’s during the third quarter. BJ’s digital sales increased 43% year-over-year during Q3 and were up more than 280% compared with the third quarter of 2019, Felice said.