BJ's Wholesale Club

BJ's Wholesale Club
Industry Retailing (Warehouse club)
Founded 1984 (1984)[1]
Headquarters Westborough, MA, United States
Number of locations
213; Gas stations = 150
Area served
East Coast of the United States and Ohio[1]
Key people
Chris Baldwin, CEO[1]
Products Electronics, Home, Furniture, Outdoor, Sporting Goods, Toys, Jewelry, Clothing, Health and Beauty, Grocery.
Number of employees
Increase 25,500 (FY 2009)[1]

BJ's Wholesale Club, commonly referred to simply as BJ's, is an American membership-only warehouse club chain operating on the United States East Coast, as well as in the state of Ohio.[1]


The company was started by discount department store chain Zayre in 1984, on the Medford/Malden border in Massachusetts. The company's name was derived from the initials of Beverly Jean Weich, the daughter of Mervyn Weich, the president of the new company.[2][3] Weich announced his resignation as president in June 1987, and left on August 1.[4] He was replaced by John Levy.[5]

When Zayre Corporation sold the Zayre nameplate to rival discount chain Ames in October 1988, TJX Companies was formed. In 1989, TJX spun off their warehouse division, consisting of BJ's and now-defunct HomeClub (later known as HomeBase, then House2Home), to form Waban, Inc. In August 1997, Waban spun off BJ's to become an independent company, BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc., headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, while Waban renamed itself to HomeBase, Inc.[6]

In 2011, BJ's was acquired by two private equity firms, Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners.[7] In 2014 BJ's was fully bought by Leonard Green & Partners.

BJ's today

As of November 6, 2013, BJ's operated 200 BJ's clubs in fifteen states and employed approximately 25,000 team members (both full- and part-time).[1] Clubs are found in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Ohio. Its major competitors are Costco Wholesale and Walmart's version of a warehouse club concept, Sam's Club.

BJ's Wholesale Club in Virginia

BJ's offers a variety of special benefits to its members. These include "member pricing", a variety of name-brand products at discount wholesale prices, acceptance of all valid manufacturers' coupons, and acceptance of many forms of payment (cash, check, ATM/debit cards, all major credit cards, and EBT SNAP benefits).[8]

Memberships at BJ's are required for these benefits and are available to individual consumers and businesses. BJ's memberships normally last for twelve months from the date of purchase and must be renewed yearly. As of January 3, 2011, a standard Inner Circle (individual) membership at BJ's cost $50 per year.[9] In addition, BJ's also has a special "Rewards" membership that may be purchased for an additional $50,[1][10] allowing 2% of most of a member's purchases to be "rewarded" and redeemed for use towards future BJ's purchases (with the exception of alcohol, gas, and tobacco). Business members may apply to purchase BJ's products for resale, and non-profit organization members may apply for tax-exempt privileges (where applicable). Members with expired memberships (if they choose not to renew), as well as non-members are allowed to shop, but are assessed a 5-15% surcharge (depending on the club and the circumstances) on their total, and are not allowed to pay by check. However, if non-members keep their receipts and decide to renew their membership or open a new membership, they will be refunded the surcharge and applied towards the membership fee, within seven days.[11] To aid in convenience, most BJ's memberships can be renewed at the register during checkout. BJ's Wholesale Club has a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on their memberships; therefore a membership can be refunded at any time during that membership period without any 90- or 30-day stipulation.[12]

Many of BJ's clubs offer special services to members, such as car rentals, gas stations, home heating oil, an optical department, propane filling, and vacation packages. These services vary from location to location. As of 2008, there were 154 clubs with optical departments. As of January 30, 2010 BJ's operated 104 gasoline stations at their clubs.[1] In February 2007, BJ's closed all pharmacies in its clubs.[11]

BJ's Wholesale Club locations frequently stock different varieties of products at different locations. However, all clubs carry the items listed in the coupon book that is published on a monthly basis. However, at certain times, it is not uncommon for a certain club not to carry a new item immediately due to its higher demand.

In March 2010, BJ's announced they would move their corporate headquarters from Natick to Westborough, Massachusetts in 2011.[1][13] On January 5, 2011, BJ's announced it would close five underperforming stores in the Southeast, eliminate approximately 100 headquarters jobs by the end of the month, and restructure its home office and some field operations. Its restructuring moves would result in savings of 78 to 82 cents per share for its fiscal fourth quarter.[14][15]


House brands

BJ's Wholesale Club regularly markets numerous products under its own private labels including products by Richelieu Foods.[16]

Other brands

Additionally, BJ's carries many organic and natural food brands such as Kerrygold, Amy's Kitchen, Kashi, Newman's Own and American Flatbread.

Distribution centers

BJ's utilizes three cross dock distribution centers along with third-party warehouse space when extra storage is needed.[1]

  • Uxbridge, MA
    • Size: 618,000 square feet (57,400 m2)
    • Serving clubs in New England
    • Owned facility
  • Burlington, NJ
    • Size: 634,000 square feet (58,900 m2)
    • Serving Mid-Atlantic clubs
    • Leased facility
  • Jacksonville, FL
    • Size: 480,000 square feet (45,000 m2)
    • Serving Southern clubs
    • Owned facility


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "BJ's Form 10-K Annual Report". March 25, 2010. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012.
  2. BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. Club Member Team Guide. July 2010. p. 6.
  3. "BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc.". Gale Directory of Company Histories. The Gale Group, Inc. 2006. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  4. "BJ's president, Weich, to resign; 2nd top-level departure in major Zayre retail unit in June". HFD-The Weekly Home Furnishings Newspaper. 1987-07-13. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  5. "BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc.". Hoover's Inc. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  6. Smith, Samantha (1997-08-11). "Spin off of BJ's Wholesale Club draws praise from industry analysts". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  7. "BJ's Wholesale Club buyout completed". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. September 30, 2011. Archived from the original on December 5, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  8. "BJ's Wholesale Club Company Background".
  9. BJ's Membership Options
  10. BJ's Rewards Membership
  11. 1 2 "BJ's Wholesale FAQs". Archived from the original on April 12, 2010.
  12. Join the Club BJ's Wholesale Club Archived April 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. Jenn Abelson (March 25, 2010). "BJ's confirms '11 Westborough move". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
  14. Matt Egan (January 5, 2011). "BJ's Sales Fall Short; Store Closings Planned". FOXBusiness. Archived from the original on January 9, 2011.
  15. Karen Talley and Lauren Pollock (January 5, 2011). "BJ's Wholesale Closing Five Stores". My Fox New York. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  16. Lisa van der Pool (February 23, 2009). "There's new appetite for peddlers of cheap eats". Boston Business Journal.
  17. Plunkett, Jack W. (2008). The Almanac of American Employers 2009. Plunkett Research. p. 192. ISBN 9781593921439. Retrieved January 13, 2015.

External links

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