Belk starts its $40M makeover in Oak Ridge


Oak Ridge reopening heralds renovations of other stores

The “grand reopening” of the Oak Ridge location – so called, though the store at 751 Main St. W. remained open as work went on – heralds renovation of other Belk stores. Altogether the company is putting $40 million into remodeling more than a dozen stores and opening three new ones over the next year, according to Belk PR Manager Tyler Hampton.

New stores are planned this year in Evans, Georgia, and Bowling Green, Kentucky; and another next year in Hagerstown, Maryland. The Georgia and Kentucky stores should open Oct. 11, Hampton said. The company currently has 293 locations, according to its website.

“A number of stores will also see capital improvements to their parking lots, paint, roofing, etc. as part of this investment,” he said in an email.

With the remodel, Belk won’t be changing its merchandise, but will put more emphasis on its private brands such as True Craft denim, Zelos activewear and Crown & Ivy, Hampton said.

Work on the Oak Ridge store took just over three months. The Athens location is also being remodeled and will have a similar ceremony later this fall, Hampton said. Belk has 16 stores in East Tennessee, of which six are in the greater Knoxville area.

The Oak Ridge store has 26 sales associates and is hiring temporary employees for the holidays, Store Manager Alycia Knaff said.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by JIM GAINES

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