Belk to grow, update stores in 2001

CHARLOTTE, NC -Belk, the privately held department store retailer with 207 stores in 13 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, will add four new stores, expand four others and renovate four more during 2001.

"These store expansion and renovation projects will allow us to substantially expand our woman's apparel, accessories and shoe areas and provide an updated shopping environment that is attractive, convenient and enjoyable," said John Belk, chairman and ceo.

The four new stores include three new markets and the relocation of an existing store, in Winter Haven, FL. The 46,000-square-foot store in Lake City, FL, is already open. The 45,000-square-foot store in Nacogdoches, TX, will open March 14. And a 48,000-square-foot store in Shallotte, NC, will open in October. The Winter Haven store, which at 61,000 square feet will double the existing store's size, will open in August.

The four locations to be expanded and renovated are in Asheville (adding 64,000 square feet and to be completed in August) and Waynesville, NC (adding 7,000 square feet and to be completed by October); and Roanoke (adding 23,000 square feet) and Harrisonburg, VA (adding 22,000 square feet), both to be completed in November.

Of the four stores to undergo major renovations this year, those in Wilmington, NC, (of 173,000 square feet) and Aiken, SC, (of 68,000 square feet), were completed this month. A location in Anderson, SC, (of 136,000 square feet) will be done in May, and a Jacksonville, FL, location (of 200,000 square feet) will be done in October.

The estimated capital expenditures for the projects will be approximately $58 million.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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