Belks shows off their recent remodel with grand openingPublished 11:15am Monday, October 21, 2013
There were balloons, Belkie Bears, a band and bargains galore as Belk celebrated its grand reopening with a ribbon cutting Wednesday morning.
Customers, some of whom began standing outside the store as early as 7:30 a.m., were entertained by the Bainbridge Middle School Band under the direction of James Sewell. They were hoping to be among the first in the door for a chance to win one of the 300 Belk gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $500.
At 9:30 a.m. Belk Bainbridge Manager Threasa Hall introduced honored guests and presented a $5,000 check from the Belk Corporation to Linda Long, for the Decatur County Breast Cancer Support Group.
Following the Chamber of Commerce sponsored ribbon cutting, the doors opened and people rushed in to see the newly remodeled store and take advantage of some of the special sales.
It was truly a party atmosphere. The sounds of many “oohs” and “aahs” were heard, as were squeals of delight from big winners of gift cards. People happily greeted and visited with old friends.
One of the big winners, Alesia Brinson, said she is totally impressed by the new store and added, “Any time we can show improvements it helps the whole community.” She said she was thrilled to win a gift card and it gives her an opportunity to do more for others.
Manager Hall, when asked what she enjoyed most about the newly remodeled store, immediately replied, “The fitting rooms, and how bright everything looks.”
The former condition of the fitting rooms was apparently the motivating factor in putting the Bainbridge Store on this round of 16 stores to be remodeled. Paul Clingan, manager of the Valdosta store and regional manager for this district, told of bringing upper Belk management on a tour. He brought them to the Bainbridge store, which was not on the priority schedule. He took them into one of the fitting rooms, closed the door and asked, “Is this what you want your customers to see and experience?” He said management responded, “I see your point,” and from then on Bainbridge was on the schedule for remodeling.
Assistant Manager, Linda Newsome also voiced her love of the new, clean and attractive fitting rooms, as well as the bright appearance of the entire store. This is a result of the white walls and flooring, as well as new lighting.
Hall said the $1.2 million dollar investment in the renovation of the 45,000 square-foot store demonstrates the commitment of Belk to the Bainbridge community.
The new store gives the impression of being much larger. Hall insists it is the same size as before and there is even more merchandise. “It is just a better use of space,” she explains.
She said the goal of Belk Inc. is to offer the community the modern southern lifestyle fashion it deserves at an affordable value. Locally, the goal is to keep local customers in town to shop, while attracting new ones from out-of-town.
Hall gave credit to the local management team and sales associates who found it challenging to maintain store hours and a proper retail experience while renovations were ongoing. There were many 12 hour days and nights put in by many as product was moved back and forth to accommodate construction, and much cleaning up to be done each day.
Other grand reopening events planned for Belk at the Bainbridge Mall are a Diva Day today, (Saturday, Oct. 19 from noon to 2 p.m.), when the first 50 “divas” (girls 12 years and under) get to walk the red carpet in the girls’ department, receive VIP treatment including a Glamour Shot photo as souvenir, mini-makeovers, and a feather boa, while supplies last.
A girls night out is planned for Thursday, Oct. 23 from 5 to 8:30 p.m., featuring refreshments, music by a DJ and prize giveaways, including a chance to win a $1,500 Belk shopping spree and Estee Lauder makeover.
A bridal event will be held Saturday, Oct. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. and among other things, guests may register for a chance to win a pair of 1 ct tw round diamond stud earrings valued at $2,950 from Belk and Co. Fine Jewelers. There will also be a Clinique cosmetic gift basket valued at $200.
Thursday, Nov. 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. Belk will shine the spotlight on a shoe party, featuring entertainment, refreshments, special discounts and a gift from Estee Lauder.
Belk, Inc., based in Charlotte, N.C. is the nation’s largest family owned and operated department store company with 301 Belk stores located in 16 Southern States. Each year Belk gives a portion of its pretax income back to the communities it serves.
As was stated by Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds and by Jeff Findley, speaking on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, Belk continues to be the cornerstone of the Bainbridge business community and the city and community are thankful for this investment made by Belk, Inc.