Business Moves with Mary: Despite bankruptcy, Belk stores expected to remain open


Mary Pollitz

Mary Pollitz


Belk department store in Columbus is pictured. The store is expected to remain open despite the company's plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Belk department store in Columbus is pictured. The store is expected to remain open despite the company's plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Photo by: Courtesy photo/Google Maps



Mary Pollitz



What the Belk?


The national retailer announced new restructuring plans Tuesday with intent to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


Despite the company's financial woes, all stores are expected to continue operations as normal.



Though Belk has not officially filed for bankruptcy yet, Belk public relations director Jenny Anderson said once the department store does file, the company expects to be out of Chapter 11 by the end of February.


"We do not anticipate any store closings or layoffs in conjunction with this financial restructuring, including our store in Columbus," Anderson wrote in an email to The Dispatch.


According to a Belk press release, CEO Lisa Harper attributed the company's financial hardships to the continual struggles with COVID-19.


"As the ongoing effects of the pandemic have continued, we've been assessing potential options to protect our future," Harper said. "We're confident that this agreement puts us on the right long-term path toward significantly reducing our debt and providing us with greater financial flexibility to meet our obligations and to continue investing in our business, including further enhancements and additions to Belk's omnichannel capabilities."


Currently Belk has nearly 300 store locations, largely in the Southeast, that will remain in operation throughout the restructuring process.


The Columbus location closed in March due to the pandemic but reopened in May. The store is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sundays noon-6 p.m.


Moving on, two local boutiques have officially opened in downtown Columbus. Little Magnolia Co. and Cobalt's Boutique opened at 124 Fifth St. S. on Saturday.


The stores previously shared a retail space on Main Street at the Pop-Up Shop.


Be sure to check out Little Magnolia Co. for a variety of children's clothes Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Right next door you can shop for women's clothes at Cobalt's Boutique Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The Columbus news keeps coming with a St. Louis-based financial firm opening its 76th location in the Friendly City.


Benjamin F. Edwards now has a spot at 2400 Military Road. According to the company's press release, the three financial advisors for the Columbus branch all hail from Wells Fargo.


"We take enormous pride in welcoming these new advisors to our ever-growing Edwards family," CEO Tad Edwards said according to the release. "We are equally as thrilled in adding yet another branch to the state of Mississippi in the wonderful community of Columbus."


Moving to Starkville, at long last Eat Local Starkville's Humble Taco has officially opened.


The long-awaited Mexican restaurant with a Southern twist initially announced plans in 2017 to open on the corner of Jackson Street and Highway 182. With construction costs and location changes, plans altered and Humble Taco officially opened Tuesday at 511 University Drive, formerly occupied by City Bagel.


Chef Ty Thames, of Eat Local Starkville, announced the restaurant's opening on Facebook.


"We are excited to announce the opening of Humble Taco," Thames posted. "It's been a long road and there are still challenges ahead, but we are excited to finally introduce our newest concept to Starkville."


For now, Thames said the restaurant will only serve dinner, with hours starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


"This is not your average Mexican restaurant; we are a blend of modern Mexican and the American South," Thames added in his post. "We can't wait for you to try our signature sweet potato flour tortillas, Mexican cornbread, smoked meats, sauces and more."


Humble Taco is now added to the list of eateries owned by Eat Local Starkville, which includes The Guest Room, Bin 612 and Restaurant Tyler.





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