Belk is an American department store chain with stores mainly located in the southeastern area of the United States. Its offer includes apparel for the whole family, in both middle-range designers and private brands. Belk also sells beauty products, fashion accessories and everything you need to furnish and decorate your home. The company owns nearly 300 stores in 16 states. Flagship locations include Charlotte, North Carolina, Birmingham, Alabama and Dallas, Texas.
In 1888, William Henry Beck opened his first store in Monroe, North Carolina. His idea was to buy in large quantities to get cheaper prices, then sell the products at fixed prices which, at the time, was kind of an uncommon approach. He named the store New York Racket then changed it to Belk Brother when he partnered with his brother, Dr. John Belk, a physician. In 1909, Belk moved to Charlotte to built a large flagship store. It remained the company's headquarters for the next 80 years. Focusing on bargain sales and lots of advertising, Belk's business expanded and the company was able to invest in different local partnerships. In 1947, Belk partnered with Earl Jones Sr to open the first Belk-Jones store in Mississippi. The partnership strategy allowed the company to grow but the stores were mostly co-branded and Belk's identity was soon weakened. In the 1990s, Belk started to regain control by combining operations involving mergers-acquisitions. The company's new entity, Belk, Inc., was formed in 1998 and pursued its development by purchasing store locations such as Profitt's, McRae's and Parisian's. In 2010 and for the first time in more than 40 years, Belk updated its logo. In 2016, the company was officially acquired by private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Tim Belk, CEO and the last family member to run the company, was replaced in 2017.
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