CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 4, 2010 – With its 125th anniversary less than three years away, Belk, Inc. has launched an updated corporate identity that projects the company’s restated mission “to satisfy the modern Southern lifestyle like no one else, so that our customers get the fashion they desire and the value they deserve.”
A new graphics package will refresh the company’s visual identity with a new corporate logo, color palette and tagline – Modern. Southern. Style. The new logo and tagline represent the first significant change in the company’s brand identity since its current logo and identity program were adopted in 1967.
“Our new brand clearly communicates what our company is today and what we aspire to be in the future,” said Tim Belk, chairman and CEO. “We want to reflect our increased focus on meeting the fashion needs of our modern customers. While we will continue to meet the needs of our traditional and classic customers, we are changing our brand and expanding our assortments to attract new customers who are looking for modern, updated brands and styles. Our vision is for the ‘modern, Southern woman to count on Belk first – for her, for her family, for life.’”
The company’s re-branding process started more than a year ago and included extensive research involving hundreds of associates and a survey of more than 30,000 customers. The research findings reaffirmed the company’s strengths and excellent reputation and also identified a significant growth opportunity with its expanding base of modern customers.
Johnny Belk, president and chief operating officer, stated, “Much has changed in the South since our last branding initiative 43 years ago, and so has our company. We’ve been working hard in recent years to establish Belk as the brand leader, not only in cosmetics, but also in dresses, shoes, costume jewelry, accessories and denim. We felt the time was right to expand our profile and realign our corporate image to better reflect the kind of stores we operate today. Re-branding happens only once in a generation, and our recent strong financial performance and balance sheet have enabled us to make significant investments in the company to position Belk for long term growth and success.”
Approximately $70 million is slated to be spent over the next 18 months for corporate branding and marketing, including $25 million for the installation of new logo signs in its 305 stores over the next 12 months. Signs will be installed in 60 stores before year-end with the balance expected to be installed by November 2011. Customers will also see the new logo and identity elements in store displays and signage, and newly designed charge cards are being issued this month to Belk Elite and Premier customers, to be followed by Belk Rewards card holders in March.
Belk’s new corporate identity will be introduced beginning in early October with an extensive branding and advertising campaign that will include market-wide television and print advertising, circulars, direct mail and social media, all of which will incorporate Belk’s new graphic elements and brand messages.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation’s largest privately owned mainline department store company with 305 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in the third generation of Belk family leadership. Its Belk.com Web site offers a wide assortment of 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 via its Facebook page, Fashion Buzz Twitter feed, mobile phone text message updates or by email, go to: http://www.belk.com/getconnected.
Certain statements made in this news release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Statements regarding future events and developments and the Company’s future performance, as well as our expectations, beliefs, plans, estimates or projections relating to the future, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of these laws. You can identify these forward-looking statements through our use of words such as “may,” “will,” “intend,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “continue,” “plan” or other similar words.
Certain risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results to differ significantly from the results we discuss in our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: general economic, political and business conditions, nationally and in our market areas; our ability to anticipate the demands of our customers for a wide variety of merchandise and services, including our predictions about the merchandise mix, quality, style, service, convenience and credit availability of our customers; unseasonable and extreme weather conditions in our market areas; seasonal fluctuations in quarterly net income due to the significant portion of our revenues generated during the holiday season in the fourth fiscal quarter and the significant amount of inventory we carry during that time; competition from other department and specialty stores and other retailers; our ability to effectively use advertising, marketing and promotional campaigns to generate high customer traffic in our stores; our ability to find qualified vendors from which to source our merchandise and our ability to access products in a timely and efficient manner from a wide variety of domestic and international vendors; the income we receive from, and the timing of receipt of, payments from GE, the operator of our private label credit card business; our ability to correctly anticipate the appropriate levels of inventories during the year; our ability to manage our expense structure; our ability to identify opportunities to open new stores, or to remodel or expand existing stores; the efficient and effective operation of our distribution network and information systems to manage sales, distribution, merchandise planning and allocation functions; our ability to expand our eCommerce business through our updated and redesigned belk.com website, including our ability to meet the systems challenges of expanding and operating the website and our ability to efficiently operate our eCommerce fulfillment facility; our ability to realize the planned efficiencies from our acquisitions and effectively integrate and operate the acquired stores and businesses; the effectiveness of third parties in managing our outsourced business processes and our ability to comply with debt covenants which could adversely affect our capital resources, financial condition and liquidity and our ability to re-finance existing debt as necessary on acceptable terms.
For additional information on these and other risk factors, see the section captioned “This Report Contains Forward-Looking Statements” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 30, 2010 and in other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We believe these forward-looking statements are reasonable. However, you should not place undue reliance on such statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, even if future events or new information may impact the validity of such statements.
Hope Beckham, Inc.
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