BJ’s Wholesale memberships, sales spike in Q2

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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BJ’s Wholesale Club joins the club of retailers posting double-digit sales jumps in the second quarter of 2020, reporting a 24.2% increase in comparable club sales excluding gasoline, and a notable 300% increase in online sales for the quarter ended Aug. 1. 

This week alone, Target as well as Lowe’s and The Home Depot posted more than 20% jumps in its second quarters. 

BJ’s CEO Lee Delaney said during the earnings call that the company is years ahead in its transformation, citing that membership has passed 6 million paid members, and in the last six months the retailer has acquired 18 months worth of members.

Delaney said the new members skew younger and are more digitally savvy. The company will focus 2020 on making these members stick, rolling out a continued targeted and personalized approach to grow engagement.

"We delivered another remarkable quarter with strong comp growth and record profitability,” Delaney said. “Our business has been transformed and strengthened in the last six months by every measure. We are extremely well positioned to continue to win as we invest in digital capabilities, membership, assortment, marketing and geographic expansion to further accelerate this transformation."

In its grocery business for the quarter, same-store sales were up 25%, driven by the paper, cleaning, fresh meat, produce, dairy categories and others. General merchandise saw a jump in comp sales by 22%, driven by apparel and home improvement categories. 

Delaney said BJ’s simplified its assortment and moved into high-growth categories during the quarter, adding 32 new vendors to help stay in stock and compete in highly relevant paper, cleaning, food and protective care categories.

In food, for 200 of its club stores, the retailer accelerated a dramatic reset to include a healthier assortment, targeting the newer, younger members. Also, as part of the more than 300% growth in digital, the company said the newly launched curbside service and buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS) service helped drive the digital sales.

Earlier in the month, BJ’s hired Monica Schwartz to be its senior vice president, chief digital officer who will help continue to scale up its digital services. Previously Schwartz was vice president of online merchandising at Home Depot.