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.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews