Sunday, March 04, 2007

former Belk, downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, during demolition, 1989. (Pat Richardson)

Leggett (now Belk), Tanglewood Mall, Roanoke, Virginia, 1990 (Virginia Film Office)

>Belk-Yates, Thomasville, North Carolina. Changing the lights in the Belk "B", 1988. (Pat Richardson)

Leggett, downtown Hampton, Virginia, Summer 1989. Closing of the store (symbolized by the mannequins wearing the Leggett bags) -- the new Leggett had just opened at the Patrick Henry Mall and the downtown store was almost closed. (Pat Richardson)

Picture inside one of the Belk Outlet Centers (Gastonia, North Carolina) from 1992 (note bag in front of picture). These would later merge with the Belk "Tags" stores -- these were a different division of Belk outlet stores. (Pat Richardson)

Find more Belk memories like these in The Belk Archive


  1. Oh, that first picture almost brings me to tears...and yet I can't stop looking at it. How sad! I would have thought they would have at least removed all of the signage from the exterior.

    I wonder why it looks like the Independence Center windows suddenly stop...and why it looks like a tall huge grey blank expanse. Probably just something with the picture.

  2. What's the story behind that downtown shot?

  3. Hey Steven, this weekend, I got some microfilm photo copies of the interor of the Leggett at Newmarket North Mall when it opened in 1975.

    I can send them to you if you want scans. Might take me a couple of days though.

  4. Matt: I agree. They toitally should have removed the sign before they demolished the store, though most times they don't.

    I'm not sure where those windows went. Maybe all the dust in the air form the demoltition covered them.

    Brian: The downtown shot is from when the former Belk flagship store in Charlotte was being torn down inn the late '80s. At its peak, it spread to dozens of buildings and contained 5000,000 square feet of space.

    Anits: I'd love to see what you have from Leggett at Newmarket North. Send it when you get a chance.

  5. Steve, if you don't mind explaining sometime when you have a few moments, what happened to the downtown store that cased Belk to relocate the flagship to SouthPark? And any reason why they didn't take the sign down before knocking down the building?

  6. It's a pretty typical downtown department story.

    Although Belk had numerous locations spread out over several states, they only had one department store in Charlotte until 1970, when they opened at SouthPark.

    Belk SouthPark helped Belk's business grow in Charlotte, but many of its sales came at the expense of the main store. When they opened at Eastland Mall in 1975, sales slid even more downtown.

    Belk continued to be a dominant retailer in Charlotte, but downtown was quickly losing its regional retail grip. Even after drastically reducing its floorspace, Belk could not stop its declining sales downtown, so the decision was made to expand the SouthPark store (1986)and close the downtown store (1988).