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BJ's looking to yank consumers from supermarket aisle


SAN FRANCISCO Warehouse club operator BJ's is looking to steal some business from grocery stores, hoping to attract consumers looking to save money on food.

Speaking at an Oppenheimer conference on July 15, BJ's CEO Laura Sen said that her company is well-positioned to take market share from supermarkets, citing their operational inefficiencies and higher retail prices. Sen added that by stocking 7,200 SKUs of food, much less than the 30,000 to 50,000 SKUs stocked by the typical supermarket, BJ's is better able to reduce labor and handling costs. These savings are then passed on to the consumer.

Sen explained that BJ's shoppers could pay up to 35% less at BJ's than at a supermarket. BJ's appeal may also include the fact that it offers smaller-sized grocery items in addition to the usual bulk-sized merchandise and accepts many forms of payment including credit cards, manufacturer's coupons and food stamps.

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