- BJ’s Wholesale Club plans to open its first BJ’s Market, a smaller, innovation-focused store located in Warwick, Rhode Island, on Friday, May 6.
- At 43,000 square feet, the new club is about half the size of a typical BJ’s. The club retailer said the new market concept will also serve as an “innovation lab” to test product assortments and demonstrations, displays, and convenience initiatives.
- BJ’s Market comes at a time when club retailers are trying to draw in price-sensitive shoppers and experimenting with new ways to sign up members.
While much smaller than a typical BJ’s, the soon-to-open store in Warwick is packed with what the club retailer sees as convenient services and an important assortment for its shoppers.
In the press release last week, BJ’s noted how the new concept will have “top-selling” fresh foods, produce, sundries and seasonal products, along with offering BJ’s private label lines Wellsley Farms and Berkley Jensen brands. Product pack sizes and prices will be the same as other BJ's locations.
Shoppers at the store at 375 East Ave. in Warwick will also have a variety of shopping options: curbside pick-up, the scan-and-go service Express Pay, and same-day delivery.
BJ’s is leveraging the market as a way to attract new members. Shoppers who sign up at the store through Thursday, May 5, can get a one-year BJ’s Inner Circle membership for $25 and a one-year BJ’s Perks Rewards membership for $65.
BJ’s first shared information about the upcoming BJ’s Market format along with three other upcoming club stores back in March. The announcement arrived on the same day the club retailer missed estimates for its fourth quarter earnings and saw its stock drop 14% premarket.
The club retailer, which has 227 clubs and 159 gas locations across 17 states, has made moves in recent months to broaden its appeal to shoppers by offering more services geared toward convenience. In March, BJ’s partnered with DoorDash to offer on-demand grocery delivery across all of its stores. The club operator is also continuing its rollout of SNAP online purchasing for its site across states, recently giving access to SNAP recipients in Massachusetts in January.
BJ's new concept also comes at a time when more grocers are experimenting with smaller formats. As clubs have gained shoppers' dollars in departments like meat and center store, the low prices and discounts may resonate as inflation remains high.
As retailers turn up the volume on promotions meant to convey value, BJ's noted that it's the only warehouse club that accepts manufacturers' coupons, and that members can add those savings to BJ's in-house coupons when they check out.