BJ’s Wholesale Club moved back to public ownership last summer after several years under private-equity cover and, with the exception of rather heavy debt, the business has looked strong ever since. Membership is growing, the store experience is improving, and sales, comps and earnings are all climbing, in part because shoppers are buying more from BJ’s than ever. These are all aspects of the company’s long-term strategic goals, according to officials, who attribute its success in part to making the warehouse shopping experience—never a strong suit of the channel—a little more convenient for members, including a new buy online, pick up in-store offering, along with a new focus on member acquisition and retention. BJ’s has had particular success targeting budget-conscious large families in East Coast cities where the local food shopping options are expensive, scarce or both. The company believes similar conditions exist around metropolitan Detroit, where BJ’s first two stores in Michigan are set to open in the fourth quarter, with more in the planning stages.