By  on May 21, 2007

ATLANTA  — Belk has opened its largest stand-alone men’s store, a 68,000-square-foot unit on the top floor of what used to be a Lord & Taylor at the Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, N.C.

The new and greatly expanded men’s store is part of a $7.5 million expansion and renovation of the company’s Hudson Belk store, which began in March. Double the size of the former men’s department, it offers expanded assortments of apparel, accessories and footwear, and features enlarged Polo, Nautica and golf shops. The Hudson Belk Men’s store opened May 13.

Charlotte, N.C.–based Belk has 15 other stand-alone men’s stores in other cities but this one is the largest. Steve Pernotto, executive vice-president of Belk, said the stand-alone men’s stores have been successful. The format doesn’t work everywhere, but does “where the productivity is high and where we have the opportunity to pick up incremental space and good return on investment.”

“We have been able to do this in different places across our footprint, and it could be [in] a mall or a freestanding center. This should be a terrific store. We believe the store will attract more men who are shopping specialty stores.”

It gave Belk the opportunity to introduce new brands, including Hickey Freeman and Burberry in tailored clothing; Ferragamo neckwear; XMI, Gitman Bros., Joseph Abboud, Forsyth of Canada and HSM in dress furnishings; and Cutter & Buck, Filson and Vineyard Vines in sportswear. The men’s store also has a Tommy Bahama dress shirt and tie shop and a Polo underwear and loungewear shop, both of which Pernotto said were the first in the U.S.

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