Belk filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Belk filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
(Source: WSFA/KARK/CNN)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WITN) - A fixture in North Carolina is filing for bankruptcy.

Belk announced Tuesday that it plans to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and expects that to be completed by the end of February.

Belk, which is based in Charlotte, has been in business for 133 years and has nearly 300 stores in 16 southeastern states. Here in Eastern Carolina, the company has locations in Greenville, Jacksonville, Kinston, Morehead City, Washington, as well as other locations.

Stores across the country have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic as most customers switched to online shopping.

Belk’s majority owner, Sycamore Partners, plans to significantly reduce the company’s debt by some $450 million. Stores will continue “normal operations” during the bankruptcy, according to a news release.

CEO Lisa Harper released the following statement regarding the announcement:

“Belk has a 130-year legacy of providing quality products at great prices. Like all retailers navigating COVID-19, our priority has been the safety of our associates, customers and communities. As the ongoing effects of the pandemic have continued, we’ve been assessing potential options to protect our future. We’re confident that this agreement puts us on the right long-term path toward significantly reducing our debt and providing us with greater financial flexibility to meet our obligations and to continue investing in our business, including further enhancements and additions to Belk’s omnichannel capabilities.”

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