by Stephen Garner
Bob and Matt Beall
Bob and Matt Beall

Bradenton, Florida-based retailer Bealls Stores has named Matt Beall as its new president.

Beall, great-grandson of the man who started the company in 1915, Robert M. Beall, began his retail career at Ross Stores and joined his family business in 2004 at an entry-level buying position. Over the past 14 years, Beall has worked his way up in the business and has held numerous leadership roles within Bealls Stores, Bealls Outlet Stores, and Bealls Inc. including buying, planning, logistics, finance, and store operations.

Most recently, Beall, who is 40 and lives in Sarasota, Florida, was the retailer’s senior vice president/chief merchandising officer, while also being responsible for the company’s marketing, exclusive brands and planning and allocation.

“Over the past three years we have gotten our business much healthier, increasing gross margin rate by over 500 basis points,” Beall tells MR. “Now our biggest opportunity is to drive more traffic and capture additional market share.”

Continues Beall: “We know that we offer phenomenal Florida right product at extremely competitive prices. We are very community oriented, and we have a culture and a history that is unlike any other retailer in America. To be over 100 years old and still family owned and operated is quite an accomplishment and one that we are very proud of. If given the opportunity to shop local, people will do so. We believe that there is a tremendous amount of market share that we can capture by telling people who we are and what we are all about.”

“Matt is the fourth in a succession of amazing executives from the Beall family that have led our company to thrive and prosper for more than 100 years,” added Steve Knopik, CEO of Bealls. “Matt is extremely bright, intensely competitive and an innovative and out-of-the-box thinker. He is deeply committed to the long-term success of the business.”

The family-owned corporation now operates more than 550 stores in 16 states under the names of Bealls, Bealls Outlet, Burkes Outlet, Home Centric and Bunulu. Bealls Inc. is not affiliated with Bealls Stores operated in Texas by Stage Stores.