BJ’s Boosts 2009 Expansion Plans

Natick, Mass. BJ's Wholesale Club plans to open six to eight new stores in existing markets in 2009, the company said during its third quarter conference call.

BJ’s also plans to open three units in the fourth quarter, for a total of four for this year. However, it warned that the company may be cautious with its share repurchase to make sure they can fund chain expansion as needed.

The company reported last week a 24% increase in third-quarter profit, as shoppers bargain-hunted at the discount wholesaler. Revenue rose 13% to $2.46 billion from $2.17 billion, while rose 11.9%, or 6.6% excluding gas.

The company said the strongest sales were in everyday items such as coffee, dairy and produce. Non-necessities such as furniture, jewelry and televisions did not sell as well.