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Belk Inc. expanding capacity of Union County eCommerce distribution center

Company investing additional $32 million and expects to add 170 new jobs by end of 2015

Dec 11, 2013

Our eCommerce business continues to grow very quickly and we need to invest in our fulfillment capabilities to keep pace with that growth. Our Jonesville center has proven to be a great investment for us, and we are pleased to be able to bring additional resources into that community. We appreciate our partnership with Union County and the support the state and county have provided to help us grow our Jonesville facility. - John R. Belk, Belk, Inc. president and chief operating officer

COLUMBIA, S.C. – December 11, 2013 – Department store retailer Belk, Inc. has announced that it is expanding its eCommerce distribution and fulfillment center operations in Union County, S.C. The company spent $9 million to upfit additional space at the 500,000-square-foot Jonesville facility this year and plans to invest another $32 million next year to further increase the center’s capacity. Belk expects to add approximately 170 new jobs by the end of 2015 in addition to the 124 jobs announced last year.

 

“Our eCommerce business continues to grow very quickly and we need to invest in our fulfillment capabilities to keep pace with that growth,” says John R. Belk, Belk, Inc. president and chief operating officer. “Our Jonesville center has proven to be a great investment for us, and we are pleased to be able to bring additional resources into that community. We appreciate our partnership with Union County and the support the state and county have provided to help us grow our Jonesville facility.”

 

In mid-2012, Belk, Inc. established operations within the former Disney facility, located at 3805 Furman L. Fendley Hwy. in Jonesville. The company completed phase one of the building upfit this year and phase two is scheduled for completion in August 2014.This facility, along with the company’s Pineville, N.C.

eCommerce center, fulfills the retailer’s digital business, which is experiencing rapid growth. Online sales were up nearly 45 percent during the third quarter of the year (August to October) and up nearly 53 percent for the fiscal year to date (February to October), according to the company.

 

“It’s a great day when a company with such a long tradition in South Carolina and across the Southeast chooses to expand here,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “Belk’s decision to invest another $32 million and create 170 new jobs in Union County is a big win for the area and underscores that we are a major player in the distribution field. We appreciate Belk’s commitment to South Carolina.”

 

Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $500 million in capital investment and more than 4,000 jobs in the warehouse and distribution sector.

 

“South Carolina’s logistics infrastructure makes our state ideal for distribution, including the rapidly growing eCommerce sector,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “The transportation, distribution and logistics sector today directly supports around 45,000 jobs in the state, with that number set to increase as we continue to invest in our roads, rails and port capabilities.”

 

“I am delighted about Belk's expansion at their eCommerce center in Union,” said Tommy Sinclair, Union County Supervisor and chairman of County Council. “I commented last year at their initial opening that Belk and Union are a comfortable fit. This new $32 million dollar planned investment, the addition of 170 new jobs added to their year-to-date investment of $9 million dollars; plus their original commitment of 124 jobs at the Union center, is evidence of Belk's continued and growing faith in our mutual future. We have faith in Belk's future growth and we pledge our support for that growth.”

 

“We are very pleased to hear of the additional $32 million dollar planned investment and the 170 new jobs that Belk is creating in Union County,” said Joe Nichols, chairman of the Union County Development Board. “Belk is a strong company and this new investment demonstrates their vision for growth in our community. We are very appreciative of their significant contribution to Union’s economic progress.”

 

Belk’s digital shopping platform, Belk.com, offers apparel, shoes, accessories, cosmetics and home wares, in addition to the department store’s searchable gift registry. Founded 125 years ago, today Belk is the nation’s largest family-owned-and-operated department store company, with 301 stores in 16 states offering Belk’s signature “Modern. Southern. Style.” The company is based in Charlotte, N.C. For more information, visit www.belk.com.

 

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a $300,000 rural infrastructure grant for the project.

 

About Belk, Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation's largest family owned and operated department store company with 301 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. Each year, Belk gives 2.5 percent of its pretax income back to the communities it serves. In fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2013, the company and its associates, customers and vendors, donated more than $19 million to those communities. Belk.com offers a wide assortment of national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. To connect with Belk go to Belk Get Connected.

 

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses grow. Commerce received the Silver Award from Business Facilities magazine, placing second in the 2011 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition. Commerce has been part of recruiting world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Monster.com, ZF Group, BMW and Google Inc. Commerce also supports small and existing business, rural development initiatives and offers grants for community development. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

 

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For further information: Allison Skipper, SCDOC, 803.737.1998, askipper@sccommerce.com Jessica Graham, Belk, Inc., 704-426-8333, Jessica_graham@belk.com


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