BJ’s Wholesale drives own brand penetration with new hire

Club chain tapped the head of digital at H-E-B to become its new CMO, saying a key initiative is to drive private brand growth.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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BJ’s Wholesale Club has hired a new chief merchandising manager with a wealth of retail experience at top retailers to oversee the company’s merchandising, including its growing own brands such as Berkley Jensen and Wellsley Farms.

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Rachael Vegas

Rachael Vegas joins the company as the executive vice president, CMO, effective Oct. 25, leading the retailer’s merchandising, assortment planning and allocation functions. Vegas will also continue to drive BJ’s own brands penetration, which the company said is a key recent initiative, along with simplifying products into high-demand categories such as better-for-you snacks, fitness, recreation and seasonal products.

In her role, Vegas will report to Paul Cichocki, EVP, chief commercial officer. She comes to the Westborough, Mass.-based club store with deep retail experience. Most recently she served as H-E-B’s SVP of e-commerce merchandising, overseeing the popular grocer’s online business and in-store financial services and payments division, and its retail media work. Before that she spent time with Brandless, Target and Delhaize Group.

She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University.

“We remain committed to delivering unbeatable value with a best-in-class merchandising assortment that will exceed our members’ expectations," said Cichocki. “We’re thrilled to have Rachael join our team. Her diverse background and deep experience in retail and grocery will be influential as we continue to build on our momentum and advance our strategic priorities.”

The company said it has made great progress in growing its merchandising assortment for its members and is focused on continuing to create a leading selection of products. “I am thrilled to join the team at BJ’s and look forward to working alongside this talented group of people to deliver outstanding products and services to members,” Vegas said. “BJ’s has made significant investments to grow its business and I look forward to partnering with the team to become the one-stop shop of choice for even more members."

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Tim Morningstar

Along with Vegas, BJ’s made other personnel moves:

  • Tim Morningstar will assume the role of EVP, chief membership officer. He joined the company in 2020 as SVP, membership acquisition and loyalty and leads the company’s membership and marketing functions.
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Monica Schwartz
  • Monica Schwartz will assume the role of EVP, chief digital officer. Schwartz joined BJ’s in 2020 as SVP, chief digital officer and is responsible for the strategic leadership of the company’s digital business.

“With the appointments of Rachael, Tim and Monica, we continue to strengthen our talented and experienced leadership team to drive the next phase of our transformation,” said Bob Eddy, president and CEO, BJ’s Wholesale. “This world-class team will play an integral role capitalizing The chain operates 222 clubs and 151 BJ's Gas locations across 17 states.