Belk readies opening

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006


staff Reports

The Natchez Democrat

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NATCHEZ &8212; The sign is up, and now the new Belk &8212; formerly McRae&8217;s &8212; is about to celebrate its grand opening in Natchez.

Belk is proclaiming Wednesday to be a &8220;grand new day&8221; as it celebrates the official launch of 39 Proffitt&8217;s and McRae&8217;s stores under the Belk name, including the store at the Natchez Mall.

Belk purchased the stores from Saks Inc. last July and since then has been combining the best of Belk and Proffitt&8217;s/McRae&8217;s to create an exciting new shopping environment and experience for customers. The grand opening will feature special sales promotions and in-store events.

&8220;March 8 will be a landmark day as the Proffitt&8217;s and McRae&8217;s stores officially become one with Belk both in name and in maintaining our long-standing reputation for customer satisfaction and community involvement,&8221; Tim Belk, chairman and chief executive officer of Belk Inc., said in a statement. &8220;These stores enjoy positive, well-established relationships with their customers and communities. Our goal is to build on this foundation and remain the department store of choice by consistently listening to customers and meeting their needs for fashion, value, quality, service and convenience.&8221;Many of the changes being made in the converted stores were based on needs identified in customer research conducted by Belk in Proffitt&8217;s/McRae&8217;s markets. The most visible differences that customers will see include:

4New and expanded assortments and selections of top-name nationally recognized brands, including additions of upscale merchandise and a more youthful merchandise mix;

4New lines of exclusive Belk private brands;

4New exterior and interior store signage and updated visual merchandise presentations to make it easier to locate merchandise and enhance the shopping environment;

4A new Belk credit card that offers convenient payment plans and special rewards for customer spending and loyalty. Belk&8217;s Grand Opening sales promotions will include door buster events, special buys and discount coupons for store purchases.