BJ’s Wholesale Club was started in 1984 by the retail chain Zayre in Massachusetts. The letters in the name are the initials of the wife, Barbara Jane, and daughter, Beverly Jean, of the first president, Mervyn Weich.
In 1988 Zayre Corporation sold the Zayre nameplate to rival chain Ames, and TJX Companies was formed. In 1989 TJX spun off their warehouse division, including BJ’s, to form Waban, Inc.
In August 1997 Waban, Inc. spun off BJ’s to form an independent company. The new company was named BJ’s Wholesale Club and was headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts and Waban renamed itself HomeBase, Inc.
In 2011 two private equity firms, Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners, acquired BJ’s.
Today BJ’s has 200 stores in 15 states with 25,000 employees. BJ’s had $10.9 billion in revenue in 2011.