NATICK, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club here posted a quarterly sales gain of 8% and earnings growth of 37% behind a “spectacular” performance in perishable food sales, Herbert Zarkin, BJ’s chief executive officer, said in a conference call Tuesday. Zarkin said new programs built around perishables addressing shrink, labor, pricing and presentation — including new refrigeration cases at around 55 stores this year — helped drive an 8% comparable-store gain in the perishable department during the quarter, which ended Aug. 4. BJ’s reported quarterly net income of $36.3 million, or 55 cents a share, up from $26.4 million in the same period a year ago. The company reported revenues of $2.3 billion and overall comps of 3.7%. Sales results were boosted 0.7% by increased gasoline sales, offset by a 0.4% sales drop in pharmacy, officials said. BJ’s stock was up by more than 4% Tuesday. Also Tuesday, BJ’s and Barclays Bank announced the launch of a new branded BJ’s Visa credit card that will earn users points towards “BJ Bucks” discounts.
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