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Belk plans $47 million expansion of e-commerce center

Charlotte-based Belk Inc. announced on Wednesday a $47 million investment to expand its e-commerce distribution and fulfillment center in Union County, S.C.

The more than 345,000-square-foot expansion is expected to increase the facility’s square footage by 50 percent and add 20 jobs, bringing the total employee count at the Jonesville location to 314.

Belk leases the property from CPA: 18-Global, an affiliate of the New York-based real estate investment trust W.P. Carey Inc. Belk will spend $28 million in the expansion, and the landlord will invest the other $19 million, according to Belk spokeswoman Jessica Graham.

In recent years, Belk has invested millions of dollars toward enhancing its e-commerce. In November, high traffic made the retailer’s website inoperable during Thanksgiving and Black Friday – among the busiest online shopping days of the year.

This is the second time Belk has expanded the e-commerce center since coming two years ago to the Union County site, 57 miles southwest of Charlotte.

“Our Jonesville facility has been a key factor in our belk.com growth,” John Belk, president of Belk, said in a statement.

The company reported 42 percent growth in online sales in its first quarter, though online sales contributed less than 2 percent to same-store sales.

Belk has 299 stores and is the nation’s largest family-owned and operated department store.

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