BJ’s Wholesale Reaches Record 90% Subscriber Renewal Rate

BJ’s Wholesale Club says customers are renewing their memberships at record levels.

In fact, 2022 was a “record year” for the company as a whole, CEO Bob Eddy said Thursday (March 9), with before-tax earnings topping $1 billion for the first time, while digital sales rose 22% for the year.

Meanwhile, the company’s membership renewal rate was at a record 90%. That figure puts BJ’s in the same neighborhood as rival Costco, which last year said its renewal rates for the U.S. and Canada — where it does the bulk of its business — were at 92%.

Research by PYMNTS has shown that mass merchants use subscriptions because they work for consumers while also helping their own bottom lines.

For example, according to the study, Amazon Prime members spent 113% more monthly than non-Prime members while shopping online. And at Costco and Sam’s Club, members spend a respective 101% and 109% more in-store than nonmembers.

On the digital front, BJ’s last year saw “digitally-enabled” sales increase 43% in its third quarter, partly due to its push to move coupons online.

“Five years ago, we were worried about the fact that our primary promotional product was paper coupons, and nobody loves paper coupons,” Eddy said at the time.

 “Now, maybe three-quarters of our promotion is done digitally. We’ve made tremendous strides both in product promotion and convenience as we’ve invested in digital, and we’ll continue to do that. The members that engage with us digitally are our best members.”

That’s in keeping with recent research by PYMNTS, finding that digital customers tend to be the most loyal to grocery chains.

It’s what led Michigan-based supermarket chain Meijer to launch of an update to its mPerks loyalty program earlier this year to improve its rewards personalization capabilities.

That update “expands on both by offering more personalized savings, along with more opportunities to earn points,” Derek Steele, the chain’s vice president of customer strategy, said in a statement. “We want to ensure we’re continuing to provide personalized value while also making the experience fun and engaging.”

Research from the most recent edition of PYMNTS’ Consumer Inflation Sentiment study, “Consumer Inflation Sentiment: The False Appeal of Deal-Chasing Consumers,” which drew from a February survey of more than 2,100 American consumers, showed that 27% of shoppers who are highly brand loyal made their most recent grocery purchase online. In contrast, just 18% of those whose purchasing decisions are driven by deals did the same.


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