BJsClub

BJ’s Wholesale Club plans to build a new store near Kohl’s on Cochran Boulevard in Port Charlotte. BJ’s representatives say they plan to open the location by Black Friday.

Sometime toward the end of the year, Port Charlotte will get a BJ’s Wholesale Club.

The company received preliminary plan approval Monday, confirmed Dave Gammon, director of Charlotte County Economic Development.

BJ’s representatives revealed that the company plans to open the Port Charlotte store by Black Friday, he added.

The 103,120-square-foot warehouse store will be built on 20 acres next to PetSmart on Cochran Boulevard. Other stores in the vicinity are Kohl’s, PetSmart and Home Depot.

Gammon said the site consists of 26.5 acres, but some of the land consists of rights of way and a retention pond.

The store will consist of a 3,092-square-foot liquor center and a 3,235-square-foot tire center, with the remaining 96,793 square feet for general merchandise and food.

The next step, Gammon said, is for the firm to apply for its final approval. Providing there aren’t any glitches in the process, BJ’s is expected to receive final approval by the end of the first quarter. Groundbreaking would begin shortly thereafter.


BJ’s Wholesale Club joins Sam’s Club, which is considered a competitor, as one of two such warehouse stores in the vicinity. BJ’s other competitor is Costco Wholesale.

The Westborough, Massachusetts-based firm was moving its headquarters to another location in the city last week and could not be reached for comment.

BJ’s Warehouse Club is no stranger to Florida where it has 19 locations, including Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and University Park in Sarasota.

Nationwide, there are 219 BJ’s clubs and 149 BJ’s gas stations. The firm has 6 million members, according to the company’s website. A basic membership card costs $55 for a year.

BJ’s is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol BJ). Around 2:30 p.m. Friday shares were trading at $40.11.

BJ’s was started by discount department store chain Zayre in 1984, in Massachusetts. Its name was derived from the initials of Beverly Jean Weich, daughter of Mervyn Weich, the president of the then-new company.

Today, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs are in 17 states, including Massachusetts, where the original warehouse store still stands, as well as Maine, New Hampshire, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ohio and Michigan.

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