Tim Belk Retires as Belk’s CEO; Lisa Harper Named New CEO

by Katie Lee

Charlotte, N.C. — Tim Belk will retire as chief executive officer of Belk in July 2016. He will continue to serve on the Belk board of directors. Lisa Harper, who previously served as chief executive officer of Hot Topic, Inc., will succeed Tim Belk as CEO, effective July 5, 2016. She is first non-family member to serve as CEO.

“After managing through the ownership transition and filling a number of key management positions, I’ve decided this is an opportune time for me to retire as CEO of Belk,” says Tim Belk. “It has been an honor to continue my family’s legacy by serving the company over the past 35 years.”

He adds: “I also appreciate the partnership we’ve developed with Stefan Kaluzny and Sycamore Partners. Their vision and expertise will carry the company forward to even greater success. A North Carolina native who worked on the selling floor at Belk as one of her first jobs, Lisa Harper brings more than two decades of experience across the retail industry. I am confident she will be a dynamic leader who will carry forth our values, our brand and our focus on our customers. I look forward to working with Lisa during a transition period in July and in my continued role as a board member.”

Sycamore Partners purchased the company in December 2015.

Tim Belk has served as CEO since 2004. He joined the company in 1981 as a management trainee, and has served in a variety of roles, including buyer, store manager, divisional merchandise manager for men’s and boys, senior vice president of human resources, and president of stores and real estate. He led the company through the acquisitions of Parisian, Proffitt’s and McRae’s.

Harper served as CEO of Hot Topic from March 2011 until June 2016. She will continue to serve on the Hot Topic board of directors, which she joined in June 2008.

Harper served as CEO from 2001 to 2006 and chairman from 2002-2006 of the Gymboree Corporation, a publicly traded company operating a chain of specialty retail stores for children and women. She also held various creative, merchandising and design positions at Gymboree and, before that, held similar positions with several other clothing retailers, including Limited Too, Esprit de Corp., GapKids, Mervyn’s and Levi Strauss.

Belk, Inc., a private department store company based in Charlotte, N.C., has 293 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence. Belk is a portfolio company of Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm based in New York. For more information, visit http://www.belk.com.

Sycamore Partners is a private equity firm based in New York specializing in consumer and retail investments. The firm has more than $3.5 billion in capital under management. The firm’s investment portfolio currently includes Aeropostale, Belk, Coldwater Creek, Dollar Express, EMP Merchandising, Hot Topic, the Kasper Group, MGF Sourcing, Nine West Holdings, Talbots and Torrid.

SOURCE: Belk, Inc.

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