BJ's Wholesale Poised for Expansion

Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
Monica Schwartz will join the company as Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, effective Aug. 3.

BJ’s Wholesale Club is adding veteran digital expertise to its C-suite as it prepares for expansion in the Northeast amid surging demand for groceries that shows no signs of slowing down.

The club retailer announced that Monica Schwartz will join the company as Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, effective Aug. 3. Schwartz comes to BJ's from Home Depot, where she was Vice President, Online Merchandising, and responsible for leading the company’s online merchandising and category experience across desktop, mobile web and app. At BJ's, Schwartz will be responsible for the strategic leadership of the company’s digital business, and will report directly to BJ’s President and CEO Lee Delaney.

“We remain committed to scaling our digital business and launching new offerings that deliver convenience and delight our members," Delaney said. “We’re thrilled Monica is joining the team. Her extensive knowledge, experience and diverse background will be instrumental as we continue to accelerate our digital priorities and transform BJ’s Wholesale Club.” 

Schwart'z hiring comes on the heels of a blockbuster fiscal quarter for the company in both digital and physical operations. In May, BJ's reported that first quarter same store sales surged 27%, digitally enabled sales increased 350% and membership spiked as the warehouse club retailer attracted new customers. The operator of 218 warehouse clubs also said at the time that its membership fee income increased 8.4% to $79.6 million and digitally-enabled sales increased 350%.

In recent years, the company has launched an improved website, mobile app, digital coupons, buy online, pick-up in club, same-day grocery delivery and more. Schwartz will continue to build on these capabilities and drive further enhancement to deliver value and convenience to members.

“I am excited to join the BJ’s team and look forward to working alongside a talented group of people to continue to scale and enhance the company’s digital capabilities,” Schwartz said. “BJ’s has made significant progress in its digital transformation and I look forward to partnering with the team to continue to build on this momentum and position the company for long-term success.”

BJ's also announced it is preparing to open two new stores in New York amid intense consumer demand for groceries due to the pandemic.

The company says it plans to open locations in Long Island City and Newburgh in early 2021, marking the 220th and 221st stores for the company. Both locations will feature an extensive selection of fresh foods, a full-service deli and household essentials like paper products, cleaning products, diapers, pet supplies and more. Both clubs are expected to bring about 300 jobs to the region. The two new clubs will be the company’s 44th and 45th locations in New York.

In April BJ's named Phil Cichocki EVP of membership, analytics and business transformation. Cichocki spent the past 23 years with Bain & Company and prior to that was an operating manager for Frito-Lay. He also received an MBA from Harvard, but has no direct retail or warehouse club experience.

“Paul’s extensive experience in leading performance improvement and business transformation make him instrumental as we continue to transform BJ’s Wholesale Club. Integrating our membership, marketing and analytics organizations under Paul’s leadership further supports accelerating our strategic initiatives in these areas,” Delaney said.

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