Sales at BJ’s Wholesale surge over 20% in first quarter

Earnings double Wall Street’s consensus per-share estimate


Russell Redman, Supermarket News 

May 21, 2020


BJ’s Wholesale Club has “gained considerable share” after net and comparable sales jumped more than 20% and net income more than doubled in the fiscal 2020 first quarter, President and CEO Lee Delaney said.


For the quarter ended May 2, net sales totaled $3.72 billion, up 21.1% from $3.07 billion a year earlier, BJ’s reported Thursday. Membership fee income also rose 8.4% to $79.6 million, powered by a 40% year-over-year gain in members. Overall revenue for the Westborough, Mass.-based company was 20.8% to nearly $3.8 billion for the period.


Comparable-club sales climbed 19.9% from a year ago and, excluding fuel, were up 27%.


“This pandemic has presented us all with challenges. I am proud of how we managed our business in this new environment and deeply thankful for the contributions of our club and distribution center team members, who have tirelessly served a surge in demand for essential products while embracing new safety conditions and protocols,” Delaney told financial analysts in a conference call on Thursday.


“Grocery goods, which represent roughly 85% of our merchandise sales, were in extremely high demand starting in late February and continuing throughout the quarter. Consumers consolidated their trips and bought bigger baskets to satisfy increased consumption-at-home needs,” he explained. “And while needs shifted throughout the quarter from cleaning supplies to pantry loading to perishables, we offered a one-stop destination with industry-leading value from the large sizes consumers need to stock up. These trends were relatively consistent in shape and magnitude across all our geographies. As a result, we believe we have gained considerable share in every region across most categories in which we compete.”


Delaney noted that the BJ’s team “responded with extraordinary agility” to escalating demand in the quarter with the help of recently enhanced forecasting capabilities...