NEW YORK — Belk Inc., considered the nation’s largest privately owned department store chain, plans to spend $93 million to open nine stores next year and renovate and expand its flagship in the SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, N.C.

The 210-unit chain also said the new stores and flagship expansion will increase selling space by 4 percent.

With the expansion, the Charlotte, N.C.-based chain will enter the Jasper, Ala.; Norcross, Ga.; Rogers, Ark.; Morristown, Tenn., and McDonough, Ga., markets. All of the stores are scheduled to open in March, except for the McDonough unit, which is set for August.

The other stores are opening in Durham, Raleigh and Morehead, N.C., as well as Newnan, Ga., where Belk already has stores.

Also, Belk’s southern division, based in Jacksonville, Fla., named Lars Petersen Jr. chairman and Bill Roberts president. The appointments are effective Feb. 25. Petersen is president of the western division, based in Greenville, S.C., and Roberts is a senior vice president and director of stores for the Raleigh-based northern division.

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