I recently wrote an article about off-price retailers. Although some of the non-grocery items BJ's offers their customers are opportunity buys, such as luxury bedding, brand name clothing, and luxury handbags, much of what they offer for gifts are specially packaged and priced for their clubs. When a vendor wants BJ's to carry their product, the buyers often ask for special gift packaging plus an additional item or items to be bundled with the product to give their customers extra value. On top of all this, they often negotiate for a better price than what their competitors are selling the same item for. For example, if you are in the market for Paper Jamz, one of the hottest toys for Holiday 2010, then you know that you can find a guitar for approximately $25 and the amp for about $15. Well, there is a special bundle available at BJ's Wholesale Club with both these items packaged together for $34.99 .
What I saw during my visit to the store . . .
Holiday Decor: LED Christmas trees, wreaths, scented pine cones, inflatable lawn ornaments, poinsettias, centerpieces, stockings, shatterproof glass and handcrafted tree ornaments, and more.
Gourmet Food, Favors, and Hostess Gifts: Fine chocolates, cookies, gift baskets, hot cocoa, coffee, and gingerbread houses. Brands include Lindt, Lyndon Reede, Harry London, Godiva, and more. After sampling them, I had to purchase a box of the Harry London Chocolate-Covered Caramels with Sea Salt so that my family could try them as well. It was $9.99 for a $15.24oz box, was beautifully packaged, and comes in both milk or dark chocolate.
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Hor d'oeurves & Desserts: Shrimp platters, vegetable platters, cookie platters, a vast assortment of frozen finger foods and appetizers, cakes, cheeses, and much more.
BJ's also carries the Keurig B60 with 60 Bonus K-Cups, the Soda Stream Automatic Soda Maker Value Pack, the Rival Crockpot Trio Deluxe, cheese boards, bar sets, glassware, Mikasa Flatware and Dinnerware, and more items that will surely help you with hosting holiday events.
Electronics: Top brands in LCD, LED, and Plasma televisions, digital cameras and camcorders, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, blu-ray players, expandable phone systems, computer accessories, printers, and much much more.
Fine Jewelry: Men's and women's watches, silver and gold necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, and gemstone jewelry. The featured item this year is 6 versions of a Sterling Silver Key Pendant with genuine diamonds and gemstones priced at $49.99 each in-store only.
Toys and Video Games: Some of the hottest toys for infants up to adults, such as Fisher-Price Imaginext BIGFOOT, Paper Jamz, Leapster Explorer, Kung Zhu and Zhu Zhu Pets Play Sets, Nintendo DSi Bundles, Wii Console Bundles, PlayStation Move for PS3, Kinect for Xbox 360, games and accessories for most video game platforms, Barbie My Size Doll, and so much more. There are two full aisles, including endcaps, dedicated to toys.
Name Brand Clothing: Calvin Klein sweaters and jeans for men, Perry Ellis, Lizwear, Nautica, Reebok, Levis, Dollie & Me, Laura Ashley, and Polo Jeans are brands I have seen. You must keep in mind that the merchandise for these opportunity buys will vary from club to club.
One of the items that impressed me the most was this Living Home Reversible Gift Wrap. It is 400 square feet of double-sided wrapping paper for just $9.99 . Usually, one roll of paper is 40 to 75 square feet. This wrapping paper is an excellent value.
I should also mention that BJ's has gifts for the home (small appliances, furniture, cookware, etc . . . ), for dogs (beds and toys), and sports fans (licensed apparel and throws). I am certain I am leaving some things out, but as I had previously stated, I do believe you will find a gift for almost everyone on your list in this one store.
You can also shop BJ's Wholesale Club online at BJs.com . The selection of merchandise available online is limited and is often different than what is offered in the stores. I have also found that many items sold on the website have the shipping included in the price. To learn more about the products or a BJ's membership, visit BJs.com, BJ's Wholesale Club on Facebook,and @BJsWholesale on Twitter.