WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club announced last month that the company is expanding its reach into eastern Michigan by opening two new clubs in 2019. The new clubs and gas stations, located in Madison Heights and Taylor, will enable greater Detroit families to save about $500 a year on groceries.
The retailer also announced fiscal 2018 third quarter earnings that beat Wall Street’s projections, fueled in part by revenue and same-store sales gains.
For the third quarter ended November 3, BJ’s totaled sales of $3.15 billion, up 4.2% from $3.02 billion a year earlier. Membership fee income rose 10.1% to $71.4 million.
Comparable-club sales grew 3.6% year over year. Merchandise comp sales, which exclude fuel sales, edged up 1.9%, which the company said represented its fifth straight quarter of increases.
Serving greater Detroit, the new clubs will carry a wide array of prepared food products; an extensive selection of fresh food items, including produce, meat, bakery and deli; and a range of convenience-focused services, including buy online/pickup in-club and digital coupons. The two clubs will bring a significant investment in the area as well as approximately 300 new jobs. The project is also expected to support up to 1,000 construction jobs. BJ’s is actively searching for sites for additional clubs in the Detroit region.
Michigan is the 17th state for BJ’s, which operates 216 clubs and 136 gas stations in all. The move also extends the retailer’s territory farther in from the East Coast. Currently, 14 of the 16 states with BJ’s locations are on the East Coast.
“We’re thrilled to enter such a dynamic market and be a part of Michigan’s future,” said BJ’s chairman and chief executive officer Christopher Baldwin. “BJ’s is known for helping hard-working families save money, and metro Detroit is a great fit for our clubs. Our expansion into this market is the result of our new, data-driven model for opening clubs, and we see significant potential in the region. We’re ready to serve eastern Michigan families and bring great career opportunities to the area.”
The Madison Heights store is about a mile from the nearest Sam’s Club and nearly two miles from a Costco. In Taylor, BJ’s will move into a new building in the Trader’s Point development. Karl Ziomek, marketing and communications director for the city of Taylor, said BJ’s is joining one of the busiest development corridors in Michigan and fills the second big-box location planned for the former Gibraltar Trade Center public market site.
“Bottom line, it means increased money, quality of life and more jobs,” Ziomek said. “People have been wanting something like this. BJ’s is going to have all kinds of offerings that are unique to them.”