The first Belk store opened in Monroe in 1888. The Belk family and the company played a large role in the development of Charlotte. Tom Hanchett, staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South, spoke to WFAE All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey about some of that history.

Among Hanchett's comments:

- The  Belk family helped build a non-profit infrastructure in the South, similar to what wealthy industrialists such as the Carnegies did in the Northeast.

Belk, Inc.

After more than a century as a family-owned department store chain, Belk has agreed to sell to a New York-based private equity firm later this year for about $3 billion.

Started as a single store in Monroe in 1888, Belk now has 296 stores in 16 states.

Sometimes it’s not enough to encourage kids to go to college.  It takes some guidance to navigate the whole application process.  With that in mind, the John M Belk Endowment has donated $10 million to put college counselors in sixty low-income, rural high schools across the state. 

Michael Tomsic

The economy in Charlotte and North Carolina as a whole next year will be like a NASCAR race under a caution flag – it’ll move forward, but not too fast. That was the message from executives at the Charlotte Chamber’s annual economic outlook conference Monday.

Belk Boosting HQ Headcount 10%

Dec 7, 2012

Belk is boosting employment at its Charlotte headquarters by about 10 percent thanks to the popularity of online shopping. 

The 150 jobs Belk plans to add at its corporate headquarters are "management-level" and focused mainly on e-commerce, says spokeswoman Jessica Graham.

"Our online site, has been growing tremendously - it's the fastest growing area of our business right now," says Graham.