BJ’s Looks to Club Supermarket Competitors
As the number three warehouse club chain,
BJ’s Wholesale Club is facing an uphill battle against Sam’s Club and Costco,
its two larger rivals. The same cannot be said of much of its supermarket
store competition and that is where CEO Laura Sen is looking to grab market
“Of all BJ’s competitors, supermarkets represent
the greatest opportunity for taking market share, based on their operational
inefficiencies and much higher retail prices,” she was quoted by Reuters as
she spoke to an Oppenheimer conference audience this week.
Ms. Sen said that a much larger number of
products, more money spent on store interiors and advertising made it hard
for supermarkets to compete with her company on price. She said consumers
could expect to save between 30 to 35 percent shopping in BJ’s compared
to the typical supermarket. Ms. Sen also said that her company’s prices
were typically 20 percent lower than supercenters.
2008, perishables sales outpaced all other categories, with a 12 percent
comp increase,” she said based on a Home Textiles Today report. “[That
trend is] continuing into 2009, with a 12 percent comp
increase in the first quarter.”
BJ’s has also deviated from some of the typical
warehouse club scripts to differentiate in the market. The chain, which
operates 182 clubs in 15 states, offers smaller size products in key categories
in addition to or in place of the club packs sold in Sam’s or Costco. It
also accepts manufacturer coupons, food stamps and all major credit cards.
Questions: Are warehouse clubs a bigger competitive threat to supermarkets
today than they have been in the past? Has BJ’s carved out a sustainable
niche in the market?
- BJ’s has sights on grabbing share from supermarkets – Reuters
- BJ’s Smaller in Store Size
but Mightier in SKU Count – Home Textiles Today