Belk unveils new look, new customer experiencePublished 12:06am Sunday, October 20, 2013
Belk is hoping all Miss-Lou shoppers buy local, so much so, the business was willing to invest $2 million into improving the Natchez store to entice shoppers do their spending right here.
Belk, a department store headquartered in North Carolina, celebrated its grand reopening in Natchez last week and revealed renovations made to the 77,000-square-foot store in the Natchez Mall.
Store Manager Mary Flach said the store remodel included improvements designed to enhance customer convenience and satisfaction.
The actual footprint of the store is the same, but some areas of Belk have expanded.
The ladies shoe department was expanded by nearly 30 percent and now offers more brands, including Ralph Lauren, Nine West and Michael Kors. The men’s shoe department’s space doubled and now offers more designers, too, Flach said.
Fitting rooms have been remodeled and aisle sizes increased, creating a better shopping experience for Belk customers, Flach said.
“I just think it offers a warm shopping environment,” she said. “It makes it more enjoyable for the customers.”
But the store’s physical presence is not its only community investment, Flach said.
Belk presented the Natchez-Adams County Habitat for Humanity a $5,000 check at the store’s ribbon cutting ceremony. The money is to be used for the construction of the nonprofit’s 18th house in Natchez.
Habitat board member Duncan McFarlane said Belk has donated $125,000 during the past 10 years to Habitat’s building efforts.
Belk is the nation’s largest family-owned department store company with 301 stores located in 16 states.
Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in its third generation of Belk family leadership.
Belk gives a portion of its pre-tax income back to the communities it serves, and Flach said the company has been committed to the communities it serves since its inception.
“One of our core values is to be involved in the community,” she said. “The Belk brothers and our executives will often ask about Natchez, and I make sure they know all about it. They really see the value in all of our communities.”
Belk recently celebrated 125 years in business, and Flach said she is excited for the future of the company, especially here in the Miss-Lou.
“We just really want people to shop Natchez,” she said. “That’s my personal goal, that people would not have to go somewhere else when they have a store like Belk here at home.”