Belk is bucking the department store trend with plans to open new stores. The company announced it will add three locations by the end of 2018 as part of a $40 million investment in its physical fleet.
The new Belk stores, which will join the 292 existing locations, will be in Evans, Georgia, Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Hagerstown, Maryland. The first two will open in October with the third debuting in 2018.
“We really want to be an asset to the communities in which we operate,” said Belk CEO Lisa Harper. “Our goal–and really, our hope–is to build lasting relationships with our customers and associates.”
To service customers better, the three new stores will offer click and collect, as well as in-store phone charging stations and service desks, which will handle gift wrapping, returns and rewards card payments.
“We’ve been successful in making a personal connection between our brand and our customers,” said Harper. “Our customers truly believe they know us and we are a part of their community; and they feel Belk is their store. We want to provide that level of personal connection in every community we enter.”
The store investment will also go toward freshening up 12 locations to the tune of $10 million and $15 million in capital improvements like sprucing up parking lots, paint jobs and roofing.
Belk, which is owned by Sycamore Partners, can be found in 16 states where it caters to customers looking for a modern southern style.