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NATICK, Mass. - BJ's Wholesale Club is expanding its successful home heating oil program –- a cost-effective purchase option exclusively for its members -- to more than 80 locations throughout eight states from Pennsylvania to Maine.
Launched last year in 45 locations, BJ's Home Heating Oil Advantage mirrors its wholesale business model by purchasing in large volume and passing the savings on to its members. Already in the motor fuels business, the club operates 80 gasoline stations among its 153 stores in 16 states.
"BJ's is always looking for new ways to add value to its membership, and this program is another way to do so," Brian Earley, v.p., fuel and automotive operations told Progressive Grocer. "BJ's already offers members discounted gas and propane in many of our markets, so this was a natural progression, and a good way to continue providing energy savings for our members."
Independent research conducted by PriceEnergy, a network of heating oil companies, revealed that BJ's members, on average, saved more than 20 percent on each gallon of heating oil during the 2003/2004 heating season. This is compared to the average price paid by other homeowners, as reported by the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration Average Retail Heating Oil Price for the same season. There's a strong heating oil market among BJ's membership base, According to Earley.
"BJ's expansion of our home heating oil program comes at a time when price fluctuations are leaving consumers frustrated," said Earley. "Oil prices have reached record highs this year, and as a result consumers are painstakingly searching for the best oil prices. BJ's Home Heating Oil Advantage is a money-saving solution which offers competitively priced heating oil with no hidden fees. An average homeowner could save $300 to $400 this year when buying from BJ's."
BJ's heating oil program is managed by PriceEnergy, with deliveries made by PriceEnergy's network of local heating oil companies. BJ's members can place orders by calling a toll-free number or logging on to BJ's member link on the Web.
-- Joseph Tarnowski