BJ's Wholesale Club, which left the Columbus, Ohio, market nearly two decades ago, is returning. The Massachusetts-based retailer is building a 100,000-square-foot store in the Hamilton Quarter development. It will be the chain's first store in Greater Columbus since closing its two local locations in 2002.
The New Albany-area location would be the seventh Ohio site for BJ's, which operates six stores in the Cleveland-Akron-Canton area. The chain, founded in 1984, opened its 224th store. According to the company, each new store employs about 150 workers.
Heavily concentrated in New England and on the East Coast, BJ's has been expanding west. Last year, it announced that it was building six new clubs, including in new markets of Pittsburgh and Lansing, Michigan. Most new stores include BJ's Gas stations.
In a November conference call, BJ's President and CEO Bob Eddy said the company planned to open up to 10 new stores this year. "We're excited about our expansion, and our confidence is underpinned by the strong performance we are seeing in our new clubs," said Eddy, who did not identify the locations of the new stores.