By  on October 26, 2006

Belk Inc. announced plans Wednesday to divest 11 of the 38 Parisian stores it bought from Saks Inc.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based department store chain will sell four Midwest stores — in Livonia, Mich.; Rochester Hills, Mich.; Indianapolis, and Beavercreek, Ohio, to The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., along with the rights for construction of a fifth store to open in Clinton Township, Mich., this fall — for $22 million in cash and certain assumed liabilities. The deal is expected to be completed on Monday.

Belk also said seven more Parisian stores are up for sale: Columbus, Ga.; Indianapolis; Cincinnati; Charleston, S.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn., and Collierville, Tenn.

Steve Pernotto, executive vice president of Belk, said the chain has kept stores that shore up Belk's original footprint in the South. "We've probably sold the bulk that we're going to sell, but there's still some store overlap, and we're still evaluating," he said. "We hope to complete this process by this spring."

After the deal closes, the family-owned Belk chain will have 279 Belk stores and 27 Parisian stores in 19 states. Belk, which bought Parisian for $285 million, has estimated sales of $3.15 billion.

Bon-Ton, based in York, Pa., will have 282 stores in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Berg­ner's, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, El­der-Berman, Her­berger's and Younkers nameplates, with estimated annual sales of $3.4 billion.

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