- BJ’s Wholesale Club plans to expand to Tennessee later this year with the opening of a location in the Nashville suburb of La Vergne, the retailer announced Thursday.
- The retailer also is preparing to add new stores in Davenport, Florida, and McDonough, Georgia, before the end of February.
- BJ’s is enlarging its footprint as it rides momentum fueled by grocery sales, which powered profits during the company’s most recent quarter.
The announcement by BJ’s that it has firmed up plans to add three more locations comes as club retailers continue to take steps to reach more shoppers.
The location in Nashville, which is set to debut during the first half of 2023, will be the first of several BJ’s expects to open in the Nashville metropolitan area, the company’s executive vice president of strategy and development, Bill Werner, said in the announcement. Tennessee will become the 19th state where the Massachusetts-based company operates stores.
All of the new stores will include gas stations, which could play a key role building loyalty with shoppers. BJ’s has made a practice of offering low prices on fuel at its locations equipped with fuel pumps, a tactic that has helped bring customers into its stores, according to the company.
The retailer currently runs 235 locations, about two-thirds of which sell gasoline.
In a reflection of its standing with shoppers, BJ’s ranked No. 10 in Dunnhunby’s Retailer Preference Index for 2021, significantly above its position the year before. Rival club retailers Costco and Sam’s Club both outperformed BJ’s, however.
Sam’s Club said last month it plans to open 30 new U.S. locations during the next few years. Costco, meanwhile, plans to open 15 locations in the United States during fiscal 2023, which runs through the end of August, CFO Richard Galanti said in December during an earnings call.
BJ’s also said this week that Tom Kingsbury has resigned from its board of directors following his appointment earlier this month as CEO of Kohl’s. Kingsbury became a director of BJ’s in February 2020 and served on the board’s committee.
Kingsbury’s departure from BJ’s board comes after its announcement on Feb. 2 that another director, Judy Werthauser, has also left her role helping oversee the retailer’s direction. Werthauser was named last week as chief people officer of Walmart, which owns Sam’s Club.
The retailer said it intends to fill both vacancies on its board “in due course,” without providing further details.