MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club wrapped up fiscal 2022 with double-digit top- and bottom-line growth for both the year and the fourth quarter. The strong performance has positioned the company for further aggressive expansion in 2023.
The membership warehouse club operator posted a 20.3% leap in full-year net income to $513.2 million on a 15.9% surge in total revenues to $19.32 billion. Net sales for the year expanded 16% to $18.92 billion while membership fee income climbed 9.9% to $396.7 million.
Net income for the 13 weeks ended January 28 vaulted 20.7% to $129.8 million as sales escalated 13.2% to $4.83 billion. An 8% rise in membership income to $101.8 million brought total revenues to $4.93 billion, up 13.1% year over year.
“We grew net sales in the fourth quarter by 13% to $4.8 billion and put up an impressive 8.7% merchandise comp, driven by nearly equal gains in traffic and ticket,” said Bob Eddy, president and chief executive officer, during a conference call. “We leaned into our strengths against the challenging operating environment, and our members rewarded us for it with their trips and their wallets.”
He added: “We are delivering even more value through better merchandising and promotions. We expanded our digital capabilities to offer even more convenience to our members, and we have reinvented our club opening model to expand our chain profitably.”
During the combined fiscal year-end conference call and investors’ day presentation, executives unveiled plans to open five more clubs, which will bring the store base up to 242 locations. The new clubs will be located in Madison, Ala.; Mt. Juliet, Tenn.; Johnson City, N.Y.; Lewis Center, Ohio; and North Jacksonville, Fla. BJ’s previously announced its intention to open its first location in Tennessee in LaVergne this summer.
The Tennessee and Alabama openings will expand the retailer’s footprint to its 19th and 20th states. The planned openings will follow two in February, one in Davenport, Fla. (its 36th club in the state), and one in McDonough, Ga. The company currently anticipates 11 or 12 openings in fiscal 2023.
“Five years ago we were opening one new club per year, and now we are doing around 10,” Eddy pointed out. “And our new clubs are performing better than our expectations, giving us more confidence to go faster. Last fiscal year, we opened nine new clubs and seven new gas stations.”
During the presentation, Bill Werner, executive vice president of strategy and development, noted that BJ’s has opened 23 clubs since its IPO in fiscal 2018, and that 10 of those openings represent new market entries, including Pittsburgh; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Pensacola, Fla.; and Michigan, which saw five openings.
“These clubs as a group are performing above our expectations, and we have confidence in our ability to continue to lean into new unit growth going forward,” Werner said.
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