Host Jan Moore takes a tour of the new Belk. Click on link to watch:
The grand re-opening of the Statesboro Belk store last week was a huge success as hundreds of shoppers and dozens of business leaders came to see the newly remodeled 87,000-square-foot store at the Statesboro Mall.
"We are so excited to have everyone see the new store, in its entirety with everything ready to go," said Statesboro store manager Michael Lukas. "This was a $3.6 million dollar renovation, and we hope that everyone will be as excited about the changes as we are. We are kicking off a month long celebration."
The complete renovation of the store, which began last spring, included a major expansion of the ladies shoe department, the addition of new and expanded lines of accessories, jewelry, and cosmetics, and the addition of 25,000 square feet of new space to the original store.
"Probably one of the biggest changes is the shoe department," Lukas said. "We are able to display so much more merchandise, and it is comfortable and roomy, and very inviting. It is very similar to shoe departments that you see in department stores in much larger cities."
Belk opened its first store in Statesboro in 1950, and relocated to its present location in 1970. The store is known to be a very good performer within the Belk chain of stores.
"This store does very well, and I think the renovation speaks to that," Lukas said. "We wanted to give our customers the best facility that we possibly could, and I really think we have done that."
One of the many business leaders present for the ribbon cutting was Phyllis Thompson, president of the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce.
"It is hard to believe how beautiful this store is," she said. "It says good things about our community on so many levels. First, the new layout reminded me of very nice retail stores in larger cities."
Thompson also cited the positive effect that a renovation like this can have on the business community. "Belk's expansion points to success, encouraging the feel of economic growth which benefits all businesses in this area," she said. "In addition, I saw such support from shoppers and business people at the re-opening which speaks for the support that we give to each here. It is events like this one that remind us how special our community is, and how lucky we are in a lot of ways."
Local business owner Keely Fennell serves on the chamber's board of directors and also attended the event.
"I guess you never really know how many people are going to come to ribbon cutting celebration, but I can honestly say that this may be the largest crowed I have ever seen at a grand opening/re-opening," she said. "The best part of it was that everyone was so excited about the store. Belk has been here for 50 years, and is a cornerstone in our community. What a treat to have such a beautiful store here."
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation's largest privately owned mainline department store company with 303 Belk stores located in 16 southern states. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in the third generation of Belk family leadership. It had sales totaling more than $3.5 billion in its past fiscal year.