- BJ's Wholesale Club released five new wines under its private label brand Wellsley Farms, the company announced in a press release.
- Starting at $6.99, the retailer's new varieties include a malbec from Argentina, a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, a Cabernet Sauvignon from California, a prosecco and a pinot grigio, both from Italy.
- The wines are available only at certain BJ's locations that carry alcohol.
BJ's addition of five new private label wines to its existing collection of Wellsley products reflects the growing popularity of affordable, private label wines and the company's efforts to keep up with competitors.
Big name retailers, including Target, Trader Joe's, Walmart, Costco and Whole Foods, have all invested in private label wines, whether through new launches or ongoing offerings. Last month, Target rolled out a second private label brand of wines called The Collection at a price point of $9.99 per bottle, adding to its existing $5 label California Roots. Trader Joe's "2-buck Chuck" maintains its cultish popularity, and Walmart launched a line of 10 private label wines last summer.
These strategic moves are in line with growing wine consumption. Total U.S. wine sales grew almost 5% from October 2017 to October 2018, according to wine consulting firm BW 166, and another report finds that annual wine sales in the U.S. are approaching $62 billion. Most of the fervor over wallet-friendly wine is attributable to millennials, who drank up 42% of those sales.
Boosting beverage offerings isn't BJ's sole focus these days. The retailer just unveiled two new websites to showcase its growing private label brand. Its Wellsley line, for instance, also offers produce, crackers, fresh meat products and more. Recently, the club grocer has also tried to bridge the gap between standard supermarket offerings and warehouse bulk-shopping by offering more fresh food and smaller portions. Fresh food is a leading focus for the effort, making up 27% of BJ's sales, while Costco's fresh food sales only account for 16% of total sales.