Belk, the nation’s largest private department store chain, will invest $2.5 million over the next five years to make improvements to its distribution center at Carolina Pines Industrial Park in Richland County, South Carolina.
According to Richland County officials, Belk plans to upgrade the Blythewood facility to meet future demand while maintaining its current employment level. The distribution center employs between 78 and 103 people, depending on the season. The facility, which opened in 2000 in the Carolina Pines Industrial Park, supports Belk’s network of 300 stores in 15 states.
Belk CEO Lisa Harper noted, “This investment reflects our continued commitment to the community and our confidence in Richland County’s workforce.”
As part of Belk’s original fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement with the County, set in 2000, the company committed to investing $9.2 million and creating 125 jobs by December 2005. The company exceeded that proposal, investing more than $13 million and creating 129 jobs at the distribution facility during that time. Council voted to extend the agreement for 10 more years. With the announcement of Belk’s newest investment, Council has approved an additional fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement that will last 20 years.
Belk is the largest privately owned department store chain in the U.S. In 2015, the Sycamore Partners private equity firm bought Belk from its founding family.
“Belk’s distribution center has been a fantastic employer, and County Council is pleased to assist the company as it expands its operations,” Paul Livingston, Richland County Council Chair, said.