Belk is in the fourth of five remodeling phases at its fashion store in Bradley Square Mall.
The $1.5 million project will allow the store to offer expanded merchandise, including new styles of shoes and accessories.
Store manager Phil Brown said Wednesday this is the first remodel for the 60,000-square-foot store since 1990, when it originally opened as a Hess store. It changed to Proffitt’s in 1992 and to a Belk store in 2005.
The fourth and fifth phases include visual enhancements of the Paul Huff entrance leading customers into a modern new shopping environment inside the store with the latest display fixtures, new tile flooring, new carpeting, ceilings and light fixtures, as well as updated restrooms and fitting rooms.
Changes shoppers already see include an expanded shoe department featuring 40 percent more inventory. It and the cosmetics department were moved to the Paul Huff entrance, which is the store’s main entrance by traffic volume. The store’s new modern jewelry and accessories departments will also feature “open sell” fixtures, making it easier for customers to make their accessory selections. The enlarged shoe department transitions to women’s accessories where Michael Kors handbags are prominent.
Construction will be completed in mid-September before the store’s grand re-opening on October 10. The grand re-opening will include a $5,000 check presentation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland. The first 400 shoppers will receive gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $500.
“We are thrilled to be creating an exciting new shopping experience for our loyal customers in the Cleveland community with the update of our Bradley Square Mall store,” Brown said. “The renovations will provide customers with an expanded shoe and jewelry department, modern decor and merchandise presentation, and allow us to expand the top brand choices throughout the store.
“Belk appreciates its Cleveland customers and these improvements demonstrate our ongoing commitment to be the top department store of choice in our community,” Brown said. “We want to satisfy the Southern lifestyle fashion needs of our customers like no one else, and continue to deliver the fashion they desire and the value they deserve.”
Belk owns and operates 23 stores throughout Tennessee, including Northgate Mall in Chattanooga. That 113,000-square-foot store is undergoing a $3.5 million project which will allow the store to relocate its Home and Kids shops and offer expanded merchandise, including new brands and styles of shoes, accessories and fashion apparel.
The renovations are part of a $600 million investment between 2011-14 in the company’s stores, technology, branding, e-commerce, merchandising, purchasing and customer care.
Brown said people in small markets want to shop locally, but they also want to feel proud of their local stores.
“We’ve had excellent initial comments on what people have seen so far,” he said. “People in smaller markets tend to really appreciate how good their hometown stores look, so they can take ownership.”
The store upgrades represent a shift from acquisitions to growth from within. Between 2002 and 2007, Belk bought Proffitt’s, McRae’s and Parisian and spread its reach to Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk Inc. is the nation’s largest privately owned mainline department store company with 303 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. The company, founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., is in the third generation of Belk family leadership.