Crown & Ivy, the private label brand launched by Charlotte-based Belk in 2014, is opening its first standalone store in Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley Mall.
Crown & Ivy is Belk’s preppy womenswear line that’s known for its bright colors and bold patterns. According to the Crabtree directory, it’ll be on the mall’s upper level near the Belk department store.
A Belk representative did not respond to a request for comment about whether a similar standalone store will open in Charlotte. But adding more could help Sycamore Partners, the New York private equity firm that bought Belk last year, build on the retailer’s popular Southern character while increasing profitability.
Private label brands, typically modestly priced, are intended to fill in market gaps left open by national brands. Experts say retailers get to keep more of the sales dollars from private label brands because national-brand middlemen are eliminated, and stores can choose how and when to discount items. Belk’s other private label brands include Made Cam Newton and Red Camel.
Sycamore has shared little about its plans. But former Belk CEO Tim Belk, who retired in July, has said the new owner thinks the company’s brand – “Modern. Southern. Style.” – “has legs” and sees the position as something on which the company can capitalize. That includes promoting certain brands that resonate with Southerners, such as Lilly Pulitzer and private labels such as Crown & Ivy.
Earlier this year, Belk experimented with a brick-and-mortar Crown & Ivy store with a pop-up shop in downtown Charleston ahead of Charleston Fashion Week. Observer writer Cristina Bolling contributed.