Is Belk Putting Itself Up for Sale?

by Harry Sheff

BelkBelk, the 297-store family-owned regional department store chain, has hired Goldman Sachs Group to explore a possible sale of the company, according to a report in Reuters. The report estimates Belk is worth $4 billion and says people close to the deal expect interest from private equity groups and retailers like Macy’s Inc. and Nordstrom.

The retailer reported fourth-quarter net sales up 5% to $1.39 billion with comparable sales up 4.8%. Fourth-quarter income was up 8.3% to $104.4 million. Fiscal 2014 sales were up 1.8% to $4.11 billion.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk and is still run by his family. The retailer has stores in 16 states, mostly in the South.