Belk Updates Branding, Tests Security
Belk is looking to shake things up.
Last month the regional department store chain announced a $70 million rebranding effort that included a new logo, tagline and ad campaign.
“Our new brand clearly communicates what our company is today and what we aspire to be in the future,” Tim Belk, chairman and CEO of the company, said in a statement. “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.'”
Johnny Belk, president and chief operating officer, added, “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.”
Belk’s same-store sales were up 4.6 percent for the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2009. Net income was up almost 32 percent for the chain during the period.
Recently, the department store announced plans to conduct a 49-store pilot to test a new security system that would allow the company’s loss prevention staff to monitor in-store activity more effectively from a central location.
According to a Jackson Sun report, the system deploys cameras around the store to focus on shoppers as they look at merchandise. Security personnel are trained to identify potential shoplifting suspects “based on certain observed behaviors of customers and others in the store.”
Discussion Questions: Is Belk on the right track? Are there lessons that other regional department stores can take from the Belk experience?