GENEVA — Customers of BJ’s Wholesale Club are lamenting the closing of the Geneva location.
Kristy Houston, director of public relations and social media for the company, based in Westborough, Massachusetts, confirmed Monday that the store, at 3635 Berry Fields Road, off Routes 5&20, will be closing by Feb. 1.
“We continuously evaluate our strategic footprint to ensure it supports our growth initiatives and drives value for members and shareholders,” Houston said, adding that a location in Charlotte, N.C., also is closing.
Houston added that the “closures are based on a review of club performance as well as real estate and market evaluation. We expect many members to shop at other nearby BJ’s clubs and on bjs.com.”
The other BJ’s in the Rochester-Finger Lakes area include Victor, Auburn, Greece, Webster, Henrietta and Batavia.
Houston said members will be eligible for a refund of their membership fees and that the company plans on assisting Geneva store workers as best as it can.
“We are committed to supporting our team members through this transition,” said Houston. “Team members will be eligible to apply for positions at other BJ’s locations and will be eligible for severance.”
BJ’s Wholesale Club offers memberships that allow customers to buy discounted bulk groceries, electronics and more in a warehouse-style setting. The store also features discounted gas, tires and many other products.
Town Supervisor Mark Venuti said the store-closing news was disappointing.
“I just heard today; no warning,” he said Monday. “It’s unfortunate for its employees and customers, but we will carry on and hope to find a good replacement for the space in the near future.”
Customers expressed surprise and sadness upon learning of the impending closure on the Finger Lakes Times’ Facebook page:
Joanne Beckerman Derrenbacher: “Jeepers. What’s with all the stores closing? I hope the one in Henrietta doesn’t close. I love going there!”
Jennifer Fish: “This is sad news. I shop at BJs regularly because there are several items that I like to buy in bulk for my family of five. The coupons offered on the mobile app are a bonus! I just paid to renew my membership in December. It’s not likely that I’ll make the drive to one of the other locations though.”
Lauren Mary: Very sad news. I shop here for everything. I just renewed my membership too.”
Stephanie Liechti: “So sad. I shop there weekly.”
Tammy Watkins Andrews: “Not at all happy. We shop there at least once a month.”
Lori Johns: “This is so sad, it will affect so many people.”
Nicole Niles: “This is very disappointing. I guess we will have to go to Victor now. We get quite a bit at BJ’s.”
While BJ’s is closing the Geneva and Charlotte stores, Houston said the company remains “on track to open two new clubs in the first half of 2020 — one in Pensacola, Florida, and one in Chesterfield, Michigan, and are aggressively building our real estate pipeline moving forward.”
The company currently operates 219 clubs and 144 BJ’s Gas locations in 17 states.