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Expenses squeeze BJ's

Natick, Mass. — A 21 percent increase in selling, general and administrative expenses helped topple net income for BJ's Wholesale Club in the third quarter. The warehouse club's net finished the quarter at $20.4 million, off nearly 13 percent from a year ago.

SG&A was $123.7 million for the quarter, 7.5 percent of sales — a 20 basis point increase from last year. Third-quarter sales were $1.6 billion, 18 percent ahead of the comparable period a year ago. Same-store sales performed well, too, growing 11.3 percent in the quarter just ended. Operating income dropped by more than 20 percent, however, to $32.5 million. Average gross margin fell by 90 basis points, to a meager 9.7 percent.