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Belk, a popular department store based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

According to a press release from Sycamore Partners, Belk’s majority owner, the company announced yesterday that it has entered into a “Restructuring Support Agreement (RSA) with its majority owner.” Sycamore Partners is a private equity firm that specializes in managing the company’s investments.

Filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy will allow the company to remain open through this process. Under the RSA, both the company’s distributors and employees will be relatively unaffected by the bankruptcy as they will still be able to do business and remain employed by the company.

Sycamore Partners has committed $225 million in accumulated assets to help lift Belk out of its financial strife. The retail company hopes that this restructuring process will put them on the “right long-term path toward significantly reducing our debt and providing us with greater financial flexibility to meet our obligations and to continue investing in our business.”

"Our priority has been the safety of our associates, customers and communities," Lisa Harper, Belk’s CEO, said in the same press release. "As the ongoing effects of the pandemic have continued, we've been assessing potential options to protect our future. We're confident that this agreement puts us on the right long-term path toward significantly reducing our debt and providing us with greater financial flexibility to meet our obligations and to continue investing in our business, including further enhancements and additions to Belk's omnichannel capabilities."

Belk hopes this financial reconstruction process will be completed by the end of February. During this time, customers will still be able to shop at the retail chain both in-store and online.

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