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mallguy

Uptown Belk closing

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I see that the uptown Belk is closing; apparently the rent that the landlord wants was higher than Belk wanted to pay, based on an article in the Charlotte Business Journal, although Belk wanted to do a long-term lease.

Unfortunate, as that Belk was the perfect place to buy a Belk gift certificate or the like for a work present.

Since Belk seemed to be interested in staying, but just couldn't work out the terms, maybe Belk will re-appear sometime, and perhaps in a larger space- like in Founders Hall?

Losing a 2,000+ sf store isn't that big of a deal to uptown, but still sad to see the Belk nameplate vanish from near the corner of Trade & Tryon.

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I guess this was in that overstreet mall that I've yet to find. If it isn't on the street, it isn't for me.

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My guess is this has to more to do with the viability of Belk as a business rather than this particular location. They are a private company so it's hard to know but my guess is they are cracking given this economy. There is nothing you can buy at Belk that can't be gotten elsewhere for a whole lot less.

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I guess this was in that overstreet mall that I've yet to find. If it isn't on the street, it isn't for me.

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It's in the Bank of America Plaza building- the 40-story black one on the southeast corner of Trade & Tryon, where the Omni is.

I'd think that the current Mint Museum branch uptown at Hearst Tower, where Montaldo's was, would be a great location for a small department store. Isn't Jos. A. Bank moving from Founders Hall to go to the Epicentre? That would also be a good location.

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Belk's chances at survival Uptown would have been better in a street level space. The Overstreet Mall made more sense when the skywalk system connected to Belk and Ivey's, but without those anchors, it's merely a corridor between office towers.

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Monsoon, you are just an endless source of happy thoughts aren't you? :)

Belk is hurting (like all retailers right now), but they're actually outperforming most of their competitors. So, while sales are down, they aren't in as bad a shape as most larger department stores. They've halted a few new stores that we're planned but their are no plans (right now) to close any major stores (the uptown store was a smaller store that focused on perfume and specialty items). If they do close stores it will be in markets where their recent purchases have caused overlap.

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Monsoon, you are just an endless source of happy thoughts aren't you? :)

.......

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Belk's chances at survival Uptown would have been better in a street level space. The Overstreet Mall made more sense when the skywalk system connected to Belk and Ivey's, but without those anchors, it's merely a corridor between office towers.

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t basically carried cosmetics, hoes and a small selection of Panthers/Bobcats stuff that was perenially discounted.

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^Given they are private, I would be interested in hearing how you can rate them vs their peers. The last time that I can find they reported income it was down sharply and there has been silence ever since. However if you have a source of more recent information please share it.

My comments about this company are not in what it does in Charlotte, but rather its bread and butter business in much smaller towns as the main department store for these places. Generally many times they are located in old malls and strip malls and are getting killed in these places by Super Walmart as shoppers shun Belk's relatively high prices lack of perceived benefit for it. Hence they are being forced to pull back and that would include closing the downtown store. Maybe I am totally off-base, so let me know what you think.

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And meanwhile, Belk still has a full-service department store in downtown Birmingham. Here at HQ, they can't even give their own downtown (wrapped by a freeway named for one of its sons) a lousy store the size of a circle K. Way to go, Big B.

edit: My friend from the Ham informed me that Belk is closing that location, too. Suburbia is best for the Big B.

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Maybe Belk just has an institutional "rule" of "we don't do downtown stores"? I recall the downtown Birmingham store when it was a Parisian.

I find it interesting that a Charlotte Business Journal article mentioned that Belk wanted to renew the lease but at a lower rate than what was offered, so unless Belk just wanted a location downtown for the PR or whatever, the store was at least somewhat viable.

I still think that the Midtown development would be a good location for a small Belk, as would the old Montaldo's location. The uptown Belk just carries absolutely nothing for men, so it cuts out tons of potential shoppers. (C'mon, even socks and ties would sell fine uptown...)

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Yeah, all you have to do is look at where Belk is building its newest stores -- suburban strip centers and "lifestyle" centers in mostly medium-sized cities...

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Yes, I do have inside information at Belk, but I cannot reveal the source or the numbers without compromising that person, which I will not do.

So, I know exactly who Belk is currently beating and who it is not. It's beating Dillard's like a drum, although Kohl's and Penny's are doing slightly better.

Suburban locations are exactly their sweet spot, and they know it. In fact, until recently they didn't have any stores in Atlanta proper. They tend to want to be the biggest fish in a small pond rather than elbowing against established downtown retail. Usually the only time you will find a Belk outside of a mall anchor is in a smaller, suburban strip.

You can criticize it all you want, but it's worked for them so far.

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....They tend to want to be the biggest fish in a small pond rather than elbowing against established downtown retail. Usually the only time you will find a Belk outside of a mall anchor is in a smaller, suburban strip.

You can criticize it all you want, but it's worked for them so far.

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Maybe, but their sales haven't been hit as hard a Macy's or Dillard's.

Retail as a whole is in the tank right now. Steve and Barry's, Goody's, and Circuit City are just the latest to go under. Heck, even Target lost a ton of money in the last quarter. I kind of thought my wife could keep Target going all on her own.

Fact is, there probably isn't a retail segment that won't be hurt badly over the next 6 months. You'd think the discount stores would pick up based on their product, but both Steve and Barry's and Goody's were in that niche. Those stores operate at thinner margins and tend to be the most exposed due to downturns.

I'd also like to point out that while Belk's retail sales were mainly flat (no significant downturn), their recent loss was due to the greater than average mark downs over the Holiday period.

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Walmart plays a factor in Belk's competitive structure, but stores like Goody's (RIP), Dillard's, Macy's, T.J. Maxx, Stein Mart, Peebles and JCPenney are the ones chasing the same customers as Belk. They carry the same vendors and their promotional strategies are very similar.

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