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About Belk Inc.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Belk, Inc. is one of the nation's largest privately owned mainline department store companies. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in the third generation of Belk family leadership.  Belk.com offers a wide assortment of fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home.

They are a department store rooted in timeless values and a rich heritage. They are committed to delivering fashion and today's top brands to the modern Southern woman.  They satisfy the modern Southern lifestyle like no one else because they know it like no one else.  They aim to be gracious, friendly, passionate, and colorful at every turn.  They believe Southern isn't just a place: it's an attitude and state of mind.  At Belk, you'll find today's styles at prices that are just right for their customers.  And they take care of their customers in ways that make them feel special.

In 1888, 24-year-old William Henry Belk opened his first store in Monroe, N.C. He had $750 in savings, a $500 loan, and $3,000 worth of goods taken on consignment. He thought an impressive name was a must, so he named his store the New York Racket Store.

Portion of his business philosophy was:

  • "A bargain leaves both the buyer and the seller feeling good."
  • "A customer may not always be right, but he always has rights."
  • "A one-trade customer won't help much. You've got to keep them coming back."

It worked. So much that he realized his own name was even more impressive. He convinced his brother Dr. John Belk to join as his partner. And the business began to flourish, often through store partnerships with trusted businessmen.

John and Tom Belk, sons of founder William Henry Belk, became the chief executives of the company in the mid-1950s following the death of their father. They began developing relationships with manufacturers of national apparel brands and led the migration of Belk stores from older downtown buildings to modern expanded stores in suburban malls and shopping centers throughout the South.

In 1967, a single logo unified the Belk brand. The store shed its bargain image for one of fashion. The big "B" could be seen all over the South.

In 1988, Belk celebrated its 100th anniversary, in 300 stores across 16 states.

In 1998, 112 store corporations become one. It was one of the largest SEC filings in history, with more than 7,000 pages of legal paperwork.

In 2004, a new generation took the reins. Tim Belk was named chairman and CEO. His brothers Johnny and McKay were named president and chief operating officer, and president and chief merchandising officer, respectively. They guided the acquisition of key department stores, including Proffitt's, McRae's, and Parisian, completing a dominant market share.

In 2011, 303 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and occupies 29 million feet of retail space, all with the single goal of satisfying the modern Southern lifestyle.

August 24, 2015 announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby investment funds managed by New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners will acquire 100% of Belk in a transaction with an estimated enterprise value at closing of approximately $3.0 billion.   Read more about the Sycamore Partners purchase of Belk on the Fashion Blog.

Above is only a small portion of Belk's accomplishments.

To connect with Belk via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog, mobile phone, text messages or by email, go to Belk Get Connected.

Here is a Belk history video for your review:

Learn more about Belk at their website.

ML92011

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