Business

Belk CEO Nir Patel leaving retailer chain; interim chief named


Nir Patel resigned unexpectedly as CEO of Charlotte-based Belk department store after lower than a yr on the job.

Patel “is leaving the company to pursue other interests,” the corporate stated in a information launch Friday. Patel, Belk’s former chief merchandising officer, changed Lisa Harper as CEO final July. Harper had led the corporate since July 2016.

Nir Patel - Headshot - Resized.jpg
Nir Patel Belk

Belk appointed its president, Don Hendricks, as interim chief govt officer efficient Monday, Could 16, based on the announcement.

“As president and chief operating officer, Hendricks was instrumental in leading the company through the continued unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic and spearheaded the company’s initiatives to enhance its omnichannel capabilities,” based on the assertion.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead the talented team at Belk,” Hendricks stated within the launch. “I’m proud of our continued work to advance the business in numerous ways, while still keeping the well-being of our customers, associates and communities as a top priority.”

Hendricks joined Belk in 2016 as chief working officer earlier than including shops to his tasks in 2019 and being named president in 2020, based on the assertion. He beforehand labored at Gymboree, Scorching Subject and Torrid, together with the place his roles included chief data officer and chief working officer.

Belk spokeswoman Jessica Rohlik didn’t instantly reply to an emailed request for remark from the Observer on Saturday as as to if extra was behind Patel’s departure.

Patel didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon his LinkedIn web page.

Specialists: Little change at Belk

The enduring division retailer has modified little since emerging from bankruptcy a yr in the past, bringing into query the corporate’s long-term sustainability, retail specialists instructed The Charlotte Observer in February.

“I haven’t seen anything significantly different to their product line, or in terms of ways of promoting products,” stated Steven Cox, a advertising and marketing professor at Queens College of Charlotte. “What’s apparent that they have done to differentiate themselves from the rest of the industry? I can’t see it.”

The 134-year-old firm with almost 300 retailer in 16 southern states has a loyal following of customers. However that’s slipping, too, stated Nick Egelanian, retail analyst and president of Siteworks, a Maryland-based retail improvement agency.

Shops can’t compete with “ubiquitous” firms, he stated, that provide decrease costs and comfort, comparable to Burlington and TJX-owned shops T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods.

“It’s a generational problem,” Egelanian stated. “If you’re Belk, what are you going to be? What’s your special offer?”

Following its chapter, Belk made management and different inside strikes final summer season. The corporate additionally launched some contactless companies and new merchandise.

The most important change got here on the high, with the promotion of Patel from president and chief of merchandising officer to CEO, changing Harper.

Patel’s background included e-commerce and advertising and marketing for Belk for 5 years.

Additionally final summer season, Belk stated it could sublease its corporate office on Tyvola Street in Charlotte, the place about 1,200 workers work. Belk has about 17,000 full- and part-time staff at its shops and distribution heart.

Charlotte Observer enterprise author Catherine Muccigrosso contributed to this story.

This can be a creating story. Examine again for updates.

This story was initially printed Could 14, 2022 8:21 AM.

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