Belk Inc., which is investing heavily in modernizing its business, expects to reach $6 billion in revenues in five years, chairman and chief executive officer Tim Belk said at the National Retail Federation annual convention on Tuesday.
Last year, the company was just shy of $4 billion, but the Charlotte, N.C.-based, family-run regional department store, expects significant growth through its $600 million, five-year modernization program, which Belk detailed during his presentation at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. He said $270 million will be spent on remodels and expansions; $263 million will be spent on new technology; $42 million has been earmarked for branding, and $14 million will be devoted to enhancing service.
Belk is about one year into its modernization, which encompasses everything from updating the image to spotlight “modern, Southern style,” to growing its assortment of contemporary and Southern designers, while reducing its dependence on traditional labels. At the same time, Belk is getting aggressive developing a stable of exclusive private labels and in March will launch an exclusive men’s collection called Made Cam Newton, in association with the Panthers quarterback.
In addition, the company has begun developing omnichannel capabilities, though Belk acknowledged, “We haven’t mastered omni. We are still in the trenches.” Customers who shop Belk both online and in stores spend roughly three times the amount of those who shop just the stores, and 10 times the amount of those who shop just online. In 2009, only 1 percent of Belk’s sales were conducted online. Last year, 3.3 percent of Belk’s sales were online. “We are on track to hit 10 percent by 2015,” Belk said. He added that digital has been accretive to in-store comparable sales. “We believe we can export the Southern state of mind,” Belk said, suggesting that Belk’s offerings can sell beyond the market reach of the stores. Belk’s road map to becoming a true omnichannel retailer involves replatforming e-commerce, replacing point-of-sale systems, building up mobile capacity, integrating customer data and establishing enterprise inventory.
Investments so far seem to be paying off. Belk’s third-quarter net income last year increased to $11.1 million compared with $600,000 in the same prior-year period. Net income excluding noncomparable items increased to $9.8 million compared with $1.4 million in the prior-year period.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion