BJ's aims to turn holiday party stress into sales
Most Americans (65%) say they’ve "witnessed a party foul" at a holiday party they’ve attended, according to a study from Wakefield Research conducted for warehouse membership retailer BJ’s Wholesale Club. The retailer used the study to advertise itself as a "one-stop shop" for holiday party planning.
Such "party fouls" include having nothing for children to do, like making crafts or watching a holiday movie (experienced by 33% of those surveyed); running out of cups, plates, utensils, or napkins (28%); running out of food (27%) and running out of alcohol (25%).
Bad planning and giving into temptation also appear to be issues when it comes to food. Half of Americans admit they’ve had to buy more food before a party they’re hosting because they or someone in the house ate it before guests arrived. More than half (54%) of Americans say that, after a dish they were making to bring to a holiday party was ruined, they brought something store-bought instead.
Americans lead busy lives in general, and the holidays bring on further pressures, BJ’s research shows. More than a quarter (26%) told the retailer that they need at least 24 hours to prepare their home for a holiday party. On average, they say they need 16 hours to fully prepare.
They’re aware of the challenges, too. Of those surveyed, 41% find hosting Thanksgiving dinner more stressful than asking their boss for a raise. And the retailer hopes to capitalize on that stress.
Lee Delaney, executive vice president, chief growth officer for the retailer, says that BJ’s large assortment can serve as a problem solver whose to-do lists are bulked up by the holidays and who are nevertheless hoping to stay on a budget.
For a company that was rumored to be for sale just a few months ago, BJ's is not waiting around for a suitor to come in and alter its fortunes. The store operator is pushing forward, trying to make things easier for its customers. A mobile website upgrade announced in July seems connected to the broader omnichannel technology push that was promised a little less then two months before, when Rafeh Massod became the company's first chief digital officer. Masood was charged at that time with revitalizing the company's e-commerce and omnichannel strategies.
Earlier this month, BJ's also announced new websites dedicated to two of its private consumer product labels, Berkley Jensen and Wellsley Farms. This is the first time the company has created dedicated e-commerce sites for its exclusive brands. The sites showcase a broad assortment of each brand and create shoppable, dedicated experiences. Members of the warehouse club retailer can opt for its "pick up and pay" omnichannel service, where non-perishable products can be reserved online and picked up in-store in as little as two hours.
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