St. Clair News Aegis (Pell City, AL)


March 14, 2013

Southern staple celebrates 125 years

Birmingham — Creating 125 years of modern Southern style, Belk team members and community leaders started the week off right with a Monday morning breakfast to celebrate decades of fashion forward achievements.

Johnny Belk, Chief Operating Officer and third generation of Belks to partake in the family business was on hand for the festivities as well as Jan Clevenger, Chair of the Western Division for Belk.

“This is our twelfth quarter of store growth,” said Belk.

“We’re excited about growing and look forward to continuing to be a fashion authority where our customers know they can count on Belk first.”

Started by Johnny’s grandfather, William Henry Belk, in 1888 in Monroe, NC, Belk is the largest independently owned store.

The store’s official birthday isn’t until May 29, but the company was so excited, they decided to start the party a little early.

Of course Belk hasn’t forgotten who’s gotten them to this point—loyal customers and great store teams.

“We have associates who connect with the customers,” said Belk.

Honoring these hardworking associates, Belk stores will host 125 days of recognition where employees have the opportunity to win door prizes.

Customers will have a similar experience with 125 Days of Prizes, seen at, where they can register to win trips and merchandise.

What keeps Belk at the forefront of fashion is their vision that growth and change is constantly moving forward and how they view their customers as guests and Belk is a place where guests are always welcome.

Operating on a set of core values, Belk strives to “be relentless with customer care, be encouraging of growth and change, be proud of our rich heritage, be committed to the success of our associates, be the best at what we do and be involved in our communities.”

Eager to talk about giving back, Clevenger shared the many ways area non-profits speak to the Belk way of life.

“YWCA has a special place in my team’s heart,” said Clevenger. “We donate to My Sister’s Closet and participate in Purse & Passion in St. Clair County.”

Providing private shopping events as fundraisers for Breast Cancer Foundation of Alabama, uniting with United Way and participating in the fashion show for Go Red, Belk sets out to show how much they care about their communities, by giving back.

“Jan is on the YWCA Central Alabama Board of Directors and Johnny’s aunt, Sarah Belk Gambrell, is on the National YWCA Board,” said YWCA Central Alabama CEO Suzanne Durham who also attended Belk’s 125 Anniversary breakfast hosted by Panorama Public Relations. “She is remarkable.”

Durham says Clevenger continues the great Belk leadership commitment of giving back by serving as a presenting sponsor for YWCA’s downtown Birmingham’s Purse & Passion luncheon as well as being a fabulous door prize sponsor for St. Clair County’s Purse & Passion event.

“They also serve as personal shoppers and style our courageous women sharing their stories at these events,” said Durham. “They get who we serve. Belk walks the walk in their values.”

Honored to be recognized for something the company holds in such high regard, Belk agreed with a humble reply.

“When you stick to your values longevity is easy,” he said.

“Community is such as big part of who we are,” said Clevenger. “We’ll be implementing the Points of Life campaign where we embrace an at risk school where associates will take time to read at these schools. 23,000 associates will be making a dramatic impact.”

Maximizing their guests’ shopping experience, Belk stores across the board will be upgrading to Wi-Fi access in order to be compatible with shoppers’ smart phones.

“We’re investing $100 million to rebrand 47 stores,” Belk said. “Our internet business is tremendous. It goes both ways. It’s an exciting time where we always want to uphold our standard of service excellence.”

Defining what modern Southern style really means, Belk said new lines such as Cynthia Rowley and Cam by Cam Newton will hit floors soon (if they haven’t already).

“We know how Alabama fans feel about Cam down here, but we feel differently about him as a Carolina Panther,” he said jokingly.

Embarking on a new journey to help develop Southern designers’ talents Belk is featuring several emerging designers throughout its store at The Summit off 280 in Birmingham, AL.

Representing the Birmingham area is children’s wear designer Andrea Brown who lives in Homewood.

Dedicated to seeing their vision “for the modern Southern woman to count on Belk first for her, for her family and for life,” Belk looks forward to carrying on its timeless tradition for the next 125 years of being the destination where Southern style lives.


Text Only
  • Your Extension Corner

    The St Clair County Extension Office is on the move to support our county veterans in many areas identified in the Governor of Alabama’s Executive Order 42. The Executive Order, signed on December 10, 2013, established the Alabama Executive Veterans Network, known as AlaVetNet, for service members, veterans and their families.

    April 22, 2014

  • Argo City Council meets for April meeting

    Monday night was the Argo City Council’s first meeting for the month of April. Several issues were discussed and reports on the ongoing and upcoming projects in Argo were reported.

    April 14, 2014

  • -Patrick Draper.jpg Pell City sets three priorities

    City manager Patrick Draper outlines plans for future growth and development at Rotary Club.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • St. Clair schools’ Advanced Placement grant program continues to grow

    St. Clair’s Moody High School, St. Clair County High School and now Ashville High School are recipients of the A+ College Ready Advanced Placement grant program. St. Clair County’s board and Superintendent Jenny Seals have expressed that they are very excited to have these programs in three schools and hope to see it expand even more

    April 7, 2014

  • -Relay2.jpg Support Relay for Life in April and May

    Moody will be hosting two benefits for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for life. Paint the town Purple will be held in April, and the relay will be held on May 9 at Moody High School from 2p.m.-2a.m.


    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • SavageG_ss446.jpg Savage honored

    Gary W. Savage, President of BL Harbert International’s US Group, was chosen as a recipient of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Top 25 Excellence in Business Award which, “identifies, recognizes and celebrates the success of the top 25 UAB alumni-owned or UAB alumni-operated businesses,” according to a release published by UAB News.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BOE2.jpg Leeds Board of Education meets in March

    At March’s Leeds City Schools board of education meeting the 2014-2014 scholastic calendar was unanimously approved.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patricia McGriff announces candidacy for the Alabama Board of Education

    March 25, 2014

  • ALDI.JPG ALDI opens in Oxford

    Yesterday, ALDI, the nation’s low-price grocery leader opened its first Anniston-area store, located at 75 Holmes St., in Oxford. 

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • education budget.jpg House passes education trust fund budget legislation

    On Tuesday the Alabama House passed the state’s proposed $5.9 billion Education Trust Fund Budget with a 51 to 47 vote.  


    March 24, 2014 1 Photo