Is Belk Putting Itself Up for Sale?

In Reports, What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

urlCharlotte, NC–Belk, the nation’s largest independent department store, has hired Goldman Sachs Group to explore a possible sale of the company, according to a report in Reuters.

The report estimates Belk–a third generation, family-owned department store chain with almost 300 stores located 16 Southern states–is worth $4 billion and says people close to the deal expect interest from private equity groups and retailers like Macy’s Inc., Nordstrom and Bon-Ton Stores. Bon-Ton’s president and CEO, Kathryn Bufano, is the former president of Belk.

Belk confirmed that it has hired an investment bank to help it explore a possible sale or other strategic alternatives. “We are performing due diligence to carefully explore all options for our future,” Belk spokeswoman Jessica Graham said in a statement.
The retailer reported fourth-quarter net sales up 5% to $1.39 billion with comparable sales up 4.8%. Fourth-quarter income was up 8.3% to $104.4 million. Fiscal 2014 sales were up 1.8% to $4.11 billion.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk and is still run by his family. The retailer has stores in 16 states, mostly in the South.

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