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Belk department store is latest retailer adding shop within a shop to boost sales

Catherine Muccigrosso, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Fashion Daily News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte’s Belk department is partnering with Texas home goods store, joining a list of retailers adding shop-in-shop concepts.

Conn’s Inc., based in Woodlands, Texas, will open inside up to 20 Belk stores later this summer, according to a recent news release. Conn’s sells home goods such as furniture, electronics and appliances, plus offers next-day delivery.

Conn’s stores within Belk locations will be 10,000- to 25,000-square-foot, depending on space.

“This partnership with Conn’s will allow us to offer customers many products we don’t currently sell,” Belk’s interim CEO Don Hendricks said in a statement.

Belk and Conn’s are among a growing list of retailers introducing stores within stores, an experimental retail strategy to compete with the rise of e-commerce. Other recent concepts in the Charlotte market include Sephora at Kohl’s and Lowe’s + Petco.

Conn’s CEO Chandra Holt said she believes partnering with retailers like Belk “can serve as a foundation for a much larger business.”

The Conn’s and Belk pilot concept will launch under a new brand within the coming months, Holt said.


Belk officials declined further comment Monday, and refused to say which stores will pilot the new stores. Conn’s officials did not immediately respond Monday for comment.Other changes at Belk

The partnership is the latest change from the Charlotte’s 134-year-old department store that emerged from bankruptcy in February last year. Last month, Belk CEO Nir Patel abruptly left Belk.

It’s also Belk’s latest product expansion. In February, Belk added more diverse-owned and inclusive home, apparel, beauty and accessories to its Culture Shop in stores and online.

Belk, owned by Sycamore Partners, has nearly 300 locations in 16 Southeastern states. Belk has about 17,000 full- and part-time workers at its stores and distribution center, and about 1,200 corporate employees in Charlotte.

Conn’s HomePlus has over 160 locations in 15 states. A publicly-traded company, Conn’s has over 4,000 employees.

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