BJ's Looks to Edit Private Label Selection

NATICK, Mass. -- BJ's Wholesale Club here said yesterday it was evaluating its private-label program with an eye toward eliminating unnecessary SKUs.

NATICK, Mass. -- BJ's Wholesale Club here said yesterday it was evaluating its private-label program with an eye toward eliminating unnecessary SKUs. “We went too much too fast into private label,” said Herb Zarkin, who recently returned as president and chief executive officer, in a conference call discussing results for the fourth quarter and year that ended Feb. 3. “We‘re going back and rechecking all the items -- are they really the items we want to be in, are they the right quality, the right brand?” He also said the club chain is having some initial success with a new pricing program that emphasizes EDLP on common grocery items. The company reported net income for the fourth quarter of $11.9 million, vs. net income of $51.6 million in the year-ago quarter, after several one-time items in the recent period, including charges for the closure of the Pro Foods concept. Sales for the 14-week quarter, which included an extra week, were up 13.4% to $2.4 billion. For the year, net income was $72 million, vs. $128.5 million a year ago. -- Mark Hamstra