Belk was founded by William Henry Belk in 1888 in Monroe, North Carolina. The store was originally called New York Racket and then renamed to Belk Brothers.
In 1908, the company headquarters was moved to Charlotte, where it remains today. A huge flagship store was built where the Bank of America Corporate Center now stands.
In 1921, the Belks begin partnering with the Leggett brothers to open new stores.
In 1952, the company opens its first shopping center in Florida.
In 1956, department store chain Efird is acquired.
In 1988, a new corporate headquarters is constructed in Charlotte.
In 1998, the company consolidates its 112 brands to form Belk Inc.
In 2004, John M. Belk retires as CEO after 50 years of leading the company. He is replaced by Thomas Belk.
In April of 2015, Belk was sold to a private equity firm, Sycamore Partners. Since then, it has laid off more than 200 persons from the corporate office and slashed jobs across the board at all 300 store locations.
In June 2018, the company was listed as one of the three worst employers to work for in North Carolina.
Today, there are over 300 Belk department stores in the US.
Headquarters remain in Charlotte, North Carolina, at this time.