BJ’s Wholesale Club plans to buy four perishables distribution centers and their transportation fleets from longtime partner Burris Logistics.
Financial terms of the agreement, announced yesterday, weren’t disclosed. The deal includes refrigerated DCs in Rocky Hill, Conn.; Orlando, Fla.; Elkton, Md.; and Independence, Ky., as well as the facilities’ staff, associated property and capital assets for operations.
Westborough, Mass.-based BJ’s noted that the addition of the Burris cold DCs will allow the warehouse club retailer to in-source its perishables supply chain. Burris has supported daily supply-chain operations for BJ’s perishables business.
In recent years, BJ’s has made grocery the core of its retail offering and, fueled in part by the pandemic, has seen grocery sales boom. For the fiscal 2021 third quarter ended Oct. 30, the company said comparable grocery sales rose 6% and were up 25% on a two-year stack.
“For more than 20 years, we have enjoyed a true partnership with the Burris Logistics team as we distribute the freshest perishable products to clubs throughout our chain. As we continue to accelerate our new club growth, broaden our footprint and expand our fresh food offerings, we are excited to in-source these capabilities to support our future growth,” BJ’s Wholesale Club President and CEO Bob Eddy said in a statement. “I want to thank the entire Burris team for their partnership, and we look forward to welcoming the Burris team members supporting the BJ’s operations to our family.”
Milford, Del.-based Burris Logistics operates a network of temperature-controlled warehousing and distribution centers, mainly on the East Coast. Its brands include Burris Custom (custom warehousing and services), Burris PRW Plus (temperature-controlled warehousing), Trinity (freight brokerage) and Honor Foods (foodservice redistribution).
The sale to BJ’s will leave Burris with nine distribution centers, as well as eight Trinity regional service centers. In late July, Burris closed a deal to sell its Mid-Atlantic frozen services contract with Albertsons Cos. to C&S Wholesale Grocers.
“Burris Logistics has been proud to partner with BJ’s on its growth and transformation over the last several years,” Burris Logistics CEO Donnie Burris stated. “This acquisition represents the next chapter in Burris Logistics’ evolution and presents amazing opportunities for both BJ’s and the team members at these distribution centers. I am incredibly proud of what we have created and extremely excited to see the future growth for all involved.”
BJ’s said the boards of directors at both companies have unanimously approved the agreement. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, pending regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.
“We look forward to welcoming all of the talented Burris Logistics team members who have supported our business to the BJ’s supply chain team,” commented Jeff Desroches, executive vice president and chief operations officer at BJ’s. “The addition of these four facilities and the private fleet is part of a larger strategy to expand and scale efficient supply-chain capabilities, positioning BJ’s for continued growth while delivering the best quality and freshest products to our members.”
Overall, BJ’s Wholesale Club operates 225 clubs and 156 BJ’s Gas fuel stations in 17 states. This month, the chain opened two new clubs, in Commack, N.Y. (No. 224), and in Port Charlotte, Fla. (No. 225). The company also plans to open a new club in Lansing, Mich., on Jan. 28, which will mark its fourth location in Michigan.