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Old 04-06-2015, 12:01 AM
 
969 posts, read 902,020 times
Reputation: 720

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Analysts all seem to agree that there is nothing in it for Macy's. Nordstrom and Von Maur don't aspire to that many stores. (especially in multiples in a market)

If a private equity firm buys, it is usually for a slash in costs and a quick resale (five years) for a fast profit and dump to the next buyer.
Remember the last eight years of Parisian. It was a shadow of itself by the time it was purchased (ironically) by Belk.

Dillard has not been mentioned because they overlap too much and it is having some financial stress. However, as I see it, in the Huntsville market this might be the best scenario. Keeping PP and opening new at BS. Of course then there would be a huge vacant space at PP. But one that I believe might appeal to other companies more than what is available now.

One thing is sure, most cities with multiple Belk stores will experience loss of stores and flooding the retail market with vacancy spaces. Realistically the Belk foot print of almost three hundred stores is not going to attract another retail company and all the investor companies do not have a concern over the outcome of the company.

With twenty-three thousand employees company wide, it is sad to imagine what could be about to happen. But we know, because it has happened so much in the past twenty years with retail, banking, insurance, even medical providers.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:32 AM
 
124 posts, read 143,815 times
Reputation: 94
Just so happen to see this as retail is in my blood. This is a very interesting situation as this basically came out of nowhere that Belk wants to do this.

You begin to wonder what is really going on internally within the family as the younger brothers are in control of the company. Also too, the company has been doing well expanding their footprint out into the Texas area with several locations opening up in key markets (Dallas) being the biggest one and opening up a VERY NICE store in the the Dallas Galleria (taking over the former Marshall Fields/Saks 5th Avenue location) and from my understanding it is doing very well. Also being here in the south as well, Belk stores are common as 7-11's! Just in my area (Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson) there are 7 of them with 3 in our malls and the other 4 are in strip plazas.

What retailer (in their right fiscal mind) would want to take on such a very unique marketing approach that Belk currently has in operations that has made this family company very successful and has built a very nice brand loyalty with the customers and the community that they serve. For example, Belk has three different classes of stores (A, B, and C) and the company flagships. Each class of store carries particular taste and style in the location that they are in. For example, if you go to the flagship location in Charlotte, you'll see the David Bitton Jeans for $300+ but if you go to a small town location, the most you'll see are Lee Jeans for $24.99 (not that there is anything wrong with that, LOL!) but Belk has done an impressive job catering to the clientele in the locations their stores are in, I honestly think Macy's took a page out of this with their MyMacy's initiative as Macy's now brings in merchandise to cater to their locations as a Macy's in Lenox Square will be different from a Macy's store in Charleston, WV.

This will something to keep a look out for.
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:05 PM
 
2,791 posts, read 3,433,809 times
Reputation: 5552
I personally don't really care whether they sell out or not. Belk isn't even close to what Parisian was and besides, you can buy almost every brand and line they sell at a number of other retailers. It isn't exactly all that difficult for me to find Ralph Lauren, Chaps, etc.

Nobody in their right mind would close the Parkway Place location. It does very very well. If anything, it would be rebranded to a Macy's if they were to buy Belk. I have no idea what they would do with the Bridgestreet store, maybe sell it off to another retailer. I have been in it 3 times and I just don't like it for some reason. I could name a few reasons but that isn't what this thread is about.
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:54 PM
 
949 posts, read 968,884 times
Reputation: 654
Walked in to Belk's on BS once, and that was it - very nice, but not my "thing"...I guess I am more of an online/smaller boutique shopper.
I still think an outlet mall would do very well here in Huntsville, people want deals, but, they want good deals and not quantity over quality.
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:20 PM
 
401 posts, read 232,038 times
Reputation: 219
Huntsville paid Belk $4million to move from MadSqr to BS.
Refund policy on taxpayer subsidies? We have the receipt.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:48 PM
 
969 posts, read 902,020 times
Reputation: 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanHunt View Post
Huntsville paid Belk $4million to move from MadSqr to BS.
Refund policy on taxpayer subsidies? We have the receipt.
lol. You have made a good point about what a mess these types of situations can become.

But the payment is really deferred tax receipts; so if they close they no longer owe.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:44 AM
 
124 posts, read 143,815 times
Reputation: 94
You know Im hearing alot of the same comments concerning people's overall opinions of Belk. Im personally a Macy's/Dillard's kinda guy but IMO Belk was a nicer store back in the day but now its just....a step up from Penney's depending on which market you are in.....now if you are in Charlotte...Belk blows everyone out the water.

interesting to hear that your city paid Belk to move.....
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:03 AM
 
969 posts, read 902,020 times
Reputation: 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by gvlscrkeva View Post
You know Im hearing alot of the same comments concerning people's overall opinions of Belk. Im personally a Macy's/Dillard's kinda guy but IMO Belk was a nicer store back in the day but now its just....a step up from Penney's depending on which market you are in.....now if you are in Charlotte...Belk blows everyone out the water.

interesting to hear that your city paid Belk to move.....
The city did not pay Belk to move. They deferred taxes contingent on sales tax increases. So no one was out any money. People who don't like business incentives almost always like to make it sound like money actually changed hands. Or, maybe they really believe that.

Tax incentives are a universal business incentive everywhere now. Truly a no lose situation.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:05 PM
 
401 posts, read 232,038 times
Reputation: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by preguntas View Post
The city did not pay Belk to move. They deferred taxes contingent on sales tax increases. So no one was out any money. People who don't like business incentives almost always like to make it sound like money actually changed hands. Or, maybe they really believe that.

Tax incentives are a universal business incentive everywhere now. Truly a no lose situation.

Quote:
Last year, the Huntsville City Council voted to spend $4 million on public infrastructure upgrades at Bridge Street to accommodate the new Belk and the space needed for additional retail buildings at the site.
Quote:
Belk and Institutional Mall Investors, which acquired Bridge Street from O&S Holdings in May, will not receive any sales or property tax breaks, said Davis.
Inside the negotiations that brought Belk to Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville | AL.com

The city provided $4mil of work for free, something they wont do for a small business owner like myself, with only 3 employees, not even $4000, not even $4.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:47 PM
 
560 posts, read 681,401 times
Reputation: 875
Quote:
Originally Posted by gvlscrkeva View Post
Just so happen to see this as retail is in my blood. This is a very interesting situation as this basically came out of nowhere that Belk wants to do this.

You begin to wonder what is really going on internally within the family as the younger brothers are in control of the company. Also too, the company has been doing well expanding their footprint out into the Texas area with several locations opening up in key markets (Dallas) being the biggest one and opening up a VERY NICE store in the the Dallas Galleria (taking over the former Marshall Fields/Saks 5th Avenue location) and from my understanding it is doing very well. Also being here in the south as well, Belk stores are common as 7-11's! Just in my area (Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson) there are 7 of them with 3 in our malls and the other 4 are in strip plazas.

What retailer (in their right fiscal mind) would want to take on such a very unique marketing approach that Belk currently has in operations that has made this family company very successful and has built a very nice brand loyalty with the customers and the community that they serve. For example, Belk has three different classes of stores (A, B, and C) and the company flagships. Each class of store carries particular taste and style in the location that they are in. For example, if you go to the flagship location in Charlotte, you'll see the David Bitton Jeans for $300+ but if you go to a small town location, the most you'll see are Lee Jeans for $24.99 (not that there is anything wrong with that, LOL!) but Belk has done an impressive job catering to the clientele in the locations their stores are in, I honestly think Macy's took a page out of this with their MyMacy's initiative as Macy's now brings in merchandise to cater to their locations as a Macy's in Lenox Square will be different from a Macy's store in Charleston, WV.

This will something to keep a look out for.
You are exactly right in your analysis - what retailer would take on a hybrid department store like Belk. Some of their flagship stores are carrying limited selections of the same brands offered in Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, whereas the C class stores in small towns are competing with the local Wal-Mart Super Center. Even within a Belk flagship store, there is a wider price point and range of brands from the low end to a few of those seen at Neiman Marcus, it begs the question, which department store (Nordstrom, Von Maur, Macy's or Dillard's) would purchase even the flagships and be able to convert them to carrying their own product offerings. Macy's has been mentioned, however, they are more focused on the upper middle market and thus aren't carrying the high end brands (like Eileen Fisher, Elie Tahari, Pink Tartan and Brooks Brothers) which Belk's flagship stores have and at the same time aren't carrying Belk's cheap house brands, either.

The stores which face the greatest likelihood of closing are in the small towns where they are struggling to compete with Wal Mart, simply because there isn't a sufficient number of households with enough income to purchase the higher margin, higher priced brands found in their class A and flagship stores.

As far as the two Huntsville stores, they are in the top tier of all the Belk stores as both are flagship stores and are the last which would be closed. Both stores are carrying $400 dresses which are also found in Saks and Neiman Marcus and Brooks Brothers men's shirts which are found in Nordstrom and Von Maur. At the present time, Belk essentially owns the Huntsville market since if a shopper wants better brands than Sears and JCPenney, Dillard's at Parkway Place is their only alternative department store outside of Belk.

Macy's, Nordstrom and Von Maur have expressed interest in the Huntsville market. Several years ago, when the owners of Bridge Street went recruiting a department store, they approached Macy's and they wanted the City of Huntsville to offer them $20 million in incentives, while Nordstrom wanted $12 million in incentives. The City was not agreeable to forking out that kind of money. When the Von Maur store opened in Hoover's Riverchase Galleria, Von Maur's president said they were interested in the Huntsville market (in fact they had considered locating in Bridge Street in 2007, but the City wasn't willing to pay for a parking deck which they wanted).

The most likely scenario for Belk is for a private Equity firm to buy the whole chain and split off the flagship and class A stores and sell them to Von Maur (which wants to grow in the southeast) and then sell the rest of the stores to Kohl's who could probably better compete with Wal Mart in the small towns of the south.
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