Belk celebrates 125 years of being in business
by Jack Mcneely
May 30, 2013 | 1176 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Linda Lewis, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, addresses a large crowd gathered outside the Belk entrance at Jasper Mall early Wednesday to celebrate the company's 125th anniversary. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jack McNeely
Linda Lewis, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, addresses a large crowd gathered outside the Belk entrance at Jasper Mall early Wednesday to celebrate the company's 125th anniversary. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jack McNeely
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Hundreds of retail shoppers and local business leaders gathered behind Jasper Mall Wednesday and enjoyed food, music, prizes and brief speeches in the morning sun as a kickoff to Belk’s 125th Anniversary Celebration Open House Event.

“I want to thank each of you for visiting our retail store here in Jasper today and during the past decade,” said store manager Brian Key. “Our loyal customers make this celebration very special on a local level.”

The Jasper Belk location opened in 2002 after building on to the northwest side of the mall behind K-Mart.“The Chamber is here today to continue to help our existing business to not only remain competitive, but to grow and thrive,” said Linda Lewis, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County.

“The store has grown and provides our area with superior service and merchandise that meets customers’ needs for fashion, kitchen accessories, cosmetics, home furnishings, children’s clothes and the list goes on,” Lewis added.

Billy Luster, chairman of the Walker County Commission, echoed those sentiments. “Belk has been a staple in our retail community for more than 10 years,” he said.

Meanwhile, Belk stores in more than 300 locations across 16 Southern states yesterday celebrated the company’s milestone anniversary. Founder William Henry Belk opened his first store in Monroe, N.C., on May 29, 1888.

At each location, the first 100 customers received a Belk gift card. Here in Jasper, they also enjoyed music provided by Whiskey Avenue. Store personnel released 125 baby blue balloons.

“Our 125th anniversary is an opportunity for us to say a big thank you to everyone who has made Belk successful over the past 125 years,” said Tim Belk, chairman and CEO, Belk, Inc. “Thank you to our associates, our customers, our communities and our vendor partners. We look forward to the next 125 years with pride, excitement and anticipation as the best is yet to come.”

Each year, Belk gives a portion of its pretax income back to the communities it serves. In fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2013, the company and its associates, customers and vendors, donated more than $18 million to those communities.