Thursday, January 06, 2011

UPDATE: Happy New Years from BJ's, Now You're Laid Off- BJ's to Cut 500 Jobs

So here's a way nobody wanted to start off their 2011.  Great, happy new years from BJ's everyone had a great holiday season and is enjoying the new year. Over the past few days we've been reading up on some interesting news involving BJ's start to 2011, and wanted to fill you in on the details. Five stores will be closing in the Southeast, which will shave 380 jobs, and another 114 corporate level employees will be cut. 
"The Natick-based chain will close five underperforming stores, in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina, which will result in the loss of 380 positions by the end of this month."
The stores are listed below, all with the closing date of January 17th.

  1. Sunrise, Florida: 3469 North University Drive.  - 99 Employees
  2. Charlotte, North Carolina:  No clear number of employees to be laid off has been announced, over 65
  3. McDonough BJ’s Wholesale Club 1990 Jonesboro Rd. McDonough, GA 30253

  4. Powder Springs BJ’s Wholesale Club 2435 East West Connector Austell, GA 30106
  5. Norcross BJ’s Wholesale Club 6344 Cash Ct. Norcross, GA 30071
The way they're wording the closings? "BJ's announces Strategic Actions to Optimize Performance'" [Press Release]

Laura Sen has said that these clubs have underperformed. Though we just came across their December sale numbers which read that sales are up big and comparable sales are up 3.8%
BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. (BJ: News ), an operator of warehouse clubs, reported that sales for December 2010 grew 7.3% to $1.25 billion from $1.16 billion in December 2009.
The Natick, Massachusetts-based company's comparable club sales for December 2010 increased by 3.8%, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 2.4%, compared to comparable club sales increase of 4.8% in December 2009.
Sales are great, the company is doing fine, this raises an eyebrow.  Just as we previously noted, this is all a restructuring of "dead weight" (not our words) in order to sell the company.
"Management is trying to portray itself as having the ability to make the difficult decisions required to drive stronger earning growth perhaps to stay aboard under a new regime, while also displaying hidden value to would-be bidders,"- Brian Sozzi, Wall Street Strategies analyst. 
Read more at: Also: Boston Herald

Right now, it's all about selling this company, at least that's the way it looks to us.  This flat out sucks, these 'strategic actions' are just the worst way to start the new year.