What's In Store

Belk continues to trim stores

Customers wait in line to check in line to take part in Belk's Charity Day sale at South Park Mall on Sunday Nov. 9, 2013. Belk is closing a store in Jacksonville, Fla.
Customers wait in line to check in line to take part in Belk's Charity Day sale at South Park Mall on Sunday Nov. 9, 2013. Belk is closing a store in Jacksonville, Fla. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

Belk said this week it plans to close another store.

The Charlotte-based department store chain will shutter its Roosevelt Square location in Jacksonville, Fla., in January. It’s part of the company’s strategy to improve competitiveness after Belk was sold in December to private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

Spokeswoman Jessica Graham said the decision to close the store was made after an evaluation of the retailer’s “business plans and competitive position in this market.”

“We believe closing the store is in the best long-term interests of Belk,” Graham said.

All employees “in good standing” were offered a transfer to another store, and any who didn’t transfer will be offered a severance package, she said.

In an interview with the Observer last month after he announced his retirement, former CEO Tim Belk said the department store chain will “always prune the underperforming stores,” though there are no plans for mass store closures. The chain will work to increase its share in existing markets and also open up in a few new contiguous markets, Belk added.

Since the new owners took over late last year, Belk has closed stores in Culpeper, Va., Eden, N.C., and Union, S.C., and opened a store in Euless, Texas. Belk currently operates 294 stores in 16 southeastern states.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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