Belk to close Union, S.C., store in January, laying off 27

Customers wait in line to check in line to take part in Belk’s Charity Day sale at South Park Mall on Nov. 9, 2013.
Customers wait in line to check in line to take part in Belk’s Charity Day sale at South Park Mall on Nov. 9, 2013.

Charlotte-based Belk will close its West Towne Plaza department store in Union, S.C., in January, resulting in the loss of 27 jobs.

The projected layoff date is Jan. 15, according to a notification filed Tuesday with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. Spokeswoman Jessica Graham said a going out of business sale will begin in November and confirmed the store will close mid-January.

“We made the decision to close after a careful evaluation of our business plans and competitive position in the Union market. We believe closing the store is in the best long-term interests of Belk,” Graham told the Observer.

The news of the job cuts comes less than two months after Belk said it will sell itself to New York private equity firm Sycamore Partners for $3 billion.

After the sale, Belk executives said the chain will continue to have store openings, store closings and store expansions just as there have been in the past. Chief Executive Officer Tim Belk added that net square footage will remain the same.

The chain, for example, also said it plans to close its store in Culpeper, Va., in January. At the same time, Belk plans to more than double the size of a store in Mobile, Ala., to create a new flagship location.

All employees in good standing at the Union store can apply for positions at other Belk stores, and any whose employment ends with the store closure and remain with Belk through the closing date will be offered a severance package, Graham added.

According to the notice sent to the state, however, Belk said it’s unknown which employees, if any, will be given the option to apply to other jobs at the company.

The notice said 28 workers will be affected, though Graham clarified that one has left since the retailer notified employees on Oct. 2 of the closure.

The Union Belk store is at 441 N. Duncan Bypass. Union is about 67 miles southwest of Charlotte.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta