Charlotte-based Belk celebrates 125 years

Charlotte-based Belk celebrates 125 years

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 1:08 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte grandparents Chuck and Lynda Severson are at SouthPark’ Belk store a lot.

“They call her by name. When she walks through they say, ‘Hi Lynda, how are you,’" Chuck joked.

The couple has seen a lot of changes at the store over the years.

“Years ago, when we moved here, there wasn’t very much here.  And this store wasn't really that big, and now it’s great.,” Lynda said.

They've also seen other stores fade away.

If you look at the stores that were here when we moved here, they're all out of business,” Chuck said.

But Charlotte-based Belk is celebrating 125 years.

The third generation, family-run company started when William Henry Belk opened the first store on Main Street in Monroe. His grandson, Johnny Belk is now the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

“He’d be excited about it, he was a wild man,” the COO told NBC Charlotte on Wednesday.

“Looking at [it] today, how we’ve changed, how were trying to embrace the future, I think he’d be excited,” Johnny added.

There are now more than 300 stores in 16 states, and the largest privately owned department store in the country expects to be a $6 billion company in the next few years.

The store is doing a lot to celebrate including offering 125 exclusive products from designers like "Michael Kors and Jessica Simpson" in honor of the birthday.

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