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Belk remodel to wrap next month

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$1.4 million overhaul changes layout, look of store

By Marty Finley

Belk department store in Elizabethtown is modernizing its look and improving the accessibility of its floor space.

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A $1.4 million overhaul of the retail clothing and home furnishings store, which is in Towne Mall, began in July and is slated to wrap up by Sept. 10, said store manager Theresa Meacham. A grand opening celebration to herald the changes is scheduled for Oct. 10, she added.

Meacham said the money was used to completely change the layout and look of the store as workers have laid new carpet and flooring, applied new paint, changed all of the lighting fixtures and installed new furnishings, display cases and racks.

Belk also plans to add new clothing and merchandise brands to its roster as part of the remodel, Meacham said.

The business has remained open throughout the renovation and customers lined the store Friday afternoon. Construction areas have been cordoned off from the rest of the store to keep work moving without impeding customer’s shopping habits, Meacham said.

As of Friday, crews were working to revamp the cosmetics section as part of the fifth phase and the kids’ area will be next, she said. Kids’ merchandise has been moved to a temporary site elsewhere in the mall while the area is unavailable, she said.

Meacham said some of her favorite improvements are the new restrooms and fitting rooms, which previously were painted “three types of Pepto Bismol pink.”

The renovation is part of a company-wide initiative launched in 2010 to modernize Belk retail stores across the country and reflect the company’s mission statement of “satisfying a modern southern lifestyle like no other so customers gets the fashion they desire and the value they deserve.”

“We are excited to bring to the community a vision where the customer can count on Belk first — for her, for her family, for life,” Meacham stated in a handwritten note she prepared for The News-Enterprise.

Another aspect of the renovation is removal of a wall that previously divided the store from the main entrance in front of the mall.

Meacham said this change was needed to create an airy atmosphere and more direct route of access to store departments and restrooms.

“It’s a lot more open,” she said. “I don’t feel claustrophobic.”

Customers already have commended the changes, and Meacham said she believes the renovation will help her and her employees better serve the community.

“To me, it feels a lot bigger,” she said.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.