BJ's to Raise Membership Fees

BJ's Wholesale Club will raise its annual membership fees by $5, to $50, beginning in January, and invest the increased revenues in store remodels.

NATICK, Mass. — BJ's Wholesale Club here said Wednesday it would raise its annual membership fees by $5, to $50, beginning in January, and invest the increased revenues in store remodels.

The membership fee increase, BJ's first since 2006, would generate about $20 million in new revenue, officials said, including an expectation that renewals would decrease 1% to 1.5% as a result of the hike.

BJ's made the membership fee announcement while reviewing financial results from its fiscal third quarter, which ended Oct. 30. An easing of competitive pressure and increased sales of perishable foods during the quarter sparked net earnings to increase 32.2% to $23 million on sales of $2.6 billion.

As previously reported, sales improved 4.8% and comparable-store sales excluding gasoline improved by 1.5%.

BJ's officials did not address news reports that the company was up for sale.