Company Snapshot: BJs Wholesale Club Inc.
25 Research Dr
WESTBOROUGH, MA 01581
Total Current Stores:
Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia
Total Annual Sales:
Herbert Zarkin: Chairman
Laura Sen: President, CEO
During the early part of our current century, BJs Wholesale Club was seen as struggling. Some analysts even wondered if it could survive. The company’s board of directors gathered for a very transparent corporate restructuring. The success of this action was so swift and apparent that the company never looked back.
The warehouse club concept had essentially been born in 1976 with the creation of Price Club. Within a decade the Warehouse Club concept had achieved a remarkable popularity which lasted through the early 90’s when the concept’s popularity began to wane. Pace Membership Warehouse Inc. was sold to Walmart and the locations became Sam’s Clubs. Price Club (made popularly infamous by a Seinfeld episode) merged into Costco. By the turn of the century, there remained essentially two national forces representing the concept, Costco and Sam’s Club with BJs as a less popular regional.
Aside from its regional scope, as opposed to the national presence of its membership club competitors Costco and Sam’s Club, BJ’s distinguishes itself by offering product sizes more amenable to most consumers than the competition’s giant offerings. Large parcels are often comprised of several smaller pieces rather than a single enormous offering. Thus customers can easily divide the savings between family and friends.
The company does not view competition as limited to other membership clubs. BJ’s includes Target, Walmart and Kmart as competing retailers. This can be seen through the company’s shrewd real estate acquisitions where it seems to prefer inexpensive plots that connect more to the popular discounters than to other clubs.
If there is any doubt about successes after the corporate restructuring, BJ’s recently announced that it had been acquired by an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners. It has now become a private company.