Business

Belk To Expand at Crabtree, Open Men's Store

Posted February 6, 2007 1:39 p.m. EST
Updated February 6, 2007 4:37 p.m. EST

— Hudson Belk will take over the second floor of the former Lord & Taylor store at Crabtree Valley Mall and open a new men’s store this fall, the department store chain said Tuesday.

The expansion and renovation of the existing Belk anchor facility will cost $7.5 million. Once completed, Hudson Belk will occupy 309,000 square feet in the mall, which covers 1.3 million square feet and includes more than 220 stores.

Hudson Belk plans a re-opening in November.

The Lord & Taylor store has been vacant for a year since that chain was sold by Federated Department Stores.

“We’ll have a totally new, greatly expanded men’s store, plus the first level of the existing store will be completely renovated and both spaces will feature the latest in retail design and merchandise presentation,” said Bob Greiner, chairman of Belk’s Northern Division, which is based in Raleigh. Belk’s headquarters are in Charlotte.

“Moving the men’s and young men’s departments to a new men’s store in the former Lord & Taylor building will enable us to reallocate space in the main store and introduce new, expanded and updated assortments of top brands of cosmetics and women’s apparel, shoes and accessories,” he added. “The improvements will give shoppers an exciting new shopping experience at our Crabtree store and enable us to serve them better than ever before.”

Sandra Geist, marketing director for the mall, said no decisions have been made yet about what to do with the lower level of the former Lord & Taylor space.

“There are a lot of different options and different retailers that we are looking at,” Geist said. “This Belk will be a flagship for the area. Obviously, we are very happy. I think this will work great for Belk and the mall.”

Other announcements could be made in a “month or so,” she added.

In discussing what to do with the Lord & Taylor space, Geist said the mall considered other alternatives. “Basically, we looked at a lot of different options,” she explained. “We felt this one would be the best fit for the center and that it would work great for Belk.”

Construction will begin in March with the relocation of the men’s department to the remodeled space in May, Belk said in a statement. The young men’s department will move to the former Lord & Taylor space as well.

In the main store, the junior’s department will relocate to the first level from the second, and the women’s apparel department will be expanded. The intimate apparel department on the third floor will also move to the first floor. The home department on the third level will be expanded.

Belk has operated a store at Crabtree since 1972. This renovation will be the fifth since its opening.