The first new Belk to come to the Augusta area in more than 20 years is scheduled to open Oct. 11.
The department store anchors the Mullins Colony shopping center development in Evans, which is still under construction.
Belk Inc. announced late Wednesday that the opening of its 85,000-square-foot store at 4263 Washington Road will coincide with another Belk opening in Bowling Green, Ky.
“We really want to be an asset to the communities in which we operate,” Belk CEO Lisa Harper said. “Our goal – and really, our hope – is to build lasting relationships with our customers and associates.”
The 145,000-square-foot development sits on a 26-acre lot next to Mullins Crossing. Frank Mullins, partial owner of Mullins Colony, estimated in January that the project would create more than $90 million in revenue for Columbia County.
Belk also operates stores in North Augusta and Aiken. But the Evans Belk will be the first Belk to open on the Georgia side of the Augusta area since 1996.
Belk first opened in downtown Augusta in 1934 as the Belk-White Co., in the old Burum Building on the 800 block of Broad Street.
At the time, Belk had 107 stores throughout the South. Each store was considered a separate corporation and operated as an individual unit. The principal owners of the first Augusta store were founder W.H. Belk and Cyrus White, general manager and treasurer of the Belk store in Columbia, S.C.
A second Augusta Belk opened in the Daniel Village shopping center in 1957. Augusta’s third Belk opened in 1966 in the Southgate Shopping Plaza.
By 1979 all three stores had closed, after Belk re-opened as the biggest anchor tenant at the new Regency Mall.
In July 1996, the Regency Belk began liquidating inventory and laying off employees. It closed the following month.
Belk Inc. operates 292 stores in 16 Southern states.
Reach Joe Hotchkiss at (706) 823-3543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.