BJ's Wholesale ($BJ) bounce-back has begun.
The retailer's shares are up nearly 10% heading into the open Thursday August 22, after it topped earnings expectations with a slight revenue miss. The company re-affirmed guidance - a relief as some retailers have struggled to keep pace with year-long expectations.
It looks like BJ's is opening stores at a pace not seen in recent years - our first chart. The company's store count shot up in the second quarter, and again this quarter - BJ's has added more stores recently, than it did in all 2018 or 2017.
It's a good sign - and could signal further expansion for the bulk retailer. BJ's - as we can tell from our map of stores - is based almost completely in the Eastern part of the US. It means that no BJ's is within 5 miles of Costco - for example - a similar brick-and-mortar retailer with a nationwide footprint that allows BJ's to operate under the radar of its larger competitor (Thinknum subscribers can access the stats here).
BJ's Wholesale has also benefited as of late from rising Facebook ($FB) Were Here - a metric that tracks when people physically visit a location and make posts there - something that not every brick-and-mortar retailer can proudly boast. The company's Facebook Talking About Count (how often a people simply engage with a brand on social media without actually visiting it) is also healthy.
Last but not least - perhaps the most-optimistic chart looking into BJ's future. The company's job postings haven't been on a strong trajectory - especially taking the second quarter into account - but, beginning mid-year, that narrative starts to change. BJ's has added more than 18% new roles, after the second quarter, making for a compelling narrative for the retailer at a time when other brick-and-mortar retailers are adding fewer jobs than they did in prior years.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.
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