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NATICK, Mass - Warehouse club operator BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. on Tuesday posted a quarterly net profit, reversing a year-ago loss, but it gave a cautious outlook for next year, Reuters reports.
BJ's, the largest club chain in the eastern United States, said it would offer more upscale, big-ticket items like 42-inch plasma televisions in an effort to boost sales an ultra-competitive sector.
BJ's also said it would focus on individual customers, offering a wider merchandise selection and using low prices at its gasoline stations to bring shoppers into stores.
On a conference call with analysts, BJ's said it expects earnings for its fiscal year 2004 to be in about the same range as the current fiscal year, before one-time items.
The retailer posted net income of $23.4 million, or 33 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Nov. 2, compared with a loss of $33.5 million, or 46 cents per share, in the same period last year.
BJ's said net sales rose 11 percent to $1.4 billion for the quarter, but sales at club stores open at least one year, or same-store sales, dipped 0.1 percent.