BJ’s Wholesale files for IPO in shifting US retail landscape

BJ’s Wholesale files for IPO in shifting US retail landscape

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Customer shops inside a BJ’s Wholesale Club store in Falls Church, Virginia.

Warehouse club operator BJ’s Wholesale Club has filed for an initial public offering with regulators on Thursday to list itself on the New York Stock Exchange, marking its bid to become a public company again.

BJ’s move to list itself comes as the U.S. retail industry is undergoing a massive transformation, due to the increasing shift of consumer dollars being spent online.

Warehouse club operators, however, have largely bucked the downturn as their business models rely mainly on recurring membership revenues rather than just topline sales.

The company, which was taken private in 2011 for $2.8 billion in cash by private equity firms Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners, will list under the symbol “BJ”, a regulatory filing showed.

The Wall Street Journal reported in April that the company could be valued between $2 billion and $3 billion, with its private-equity backers raising at least $400 million.

The preliminary filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell or their expected price.

Founded in 1984, the company owns 215 warehouse clubs, mainly on the U.S. east coast, and competes with Walmart Inc’s Sam’s Club and Costco Wholesale Corp.

BJ’s said it generated net income of $50 million on total sales of $12.8 billion for fiscal 2017.

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