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Belk Marks 125 Years With Commemorative Items

The retailer did better than expected in its bid to get its vendors to create exclusive pieces.

Belk Inc. did better than expected in its bid to get its vendors to create exclusive 125th anniversary commemorative items.

“We wanted to get 125 exclusives from key brands and manufacturers, and we exceeded that,” said Kathryn Bufano, president and chief merchandising officer. “We got anywhere from 150 to 160.”

She went through the list, citing Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Jessica Simpson, Lilly Pulitzer, Vince Camuto, Anne Klein, Steve Madden, Elie Tahari, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, CK, Brahmin, Fossil, Nautica, Columbia and Levi Strauss among the companies providing exclusives. “We even got exclusive coffee from Keurig,” Bufano added. And KitchenAid provided a special mixer.

The program, she noted, is pretty ubiquitous, but the retailer didn’t attach a volume expectation to it.

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In fashion, the range is wide, covering men’s, women’s and kids. All of the 125th anniversary products are prominently flagged in stores and on belk.com. There’s also a range of exclusive prints and lots of bright colors. Noting that Levi’s did some kids’ denim in different colors, as opposed to the traditional blue, Bufano added, “The mission was to create exclusives that resonate with the South. We are all about color. We wanted all of our most important resources to provide something exclusive.”