Belk CEO Nir Patel leaving store chain; interim chief named

Nir Patel resigned rapidly as CEO of Charlotte-based Belk division retailer after not up to a 12 months at the process.

Patel “is leaving the company to pursue other interests,” the corporate mentioned in a information free up Friday.

Patel, Belk’s former leader vending officer, changed Lisa Harper as CEO final July. Harper had led the corporate since July 2016. In May, she used to be named CEO of girls’s fashion designer Torrid Holdings Inc.

Nir Patel - Headshot - Resized.jpg
Nir Patel Belk

Belk appointed its president, Don Hendricks, as intervening time leader government officer efficient Monday, May 16, in step with 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,” in step with the observation.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead the talented team at Belk,” Hendricks mentioned within the free up. “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 leader running officer earlier than including shops to his duties in 2019 and being named president in 2020, in step with the observation. He up to now labored at Gymboree, Hot Topic and Torrid, together with the place his roles integrated leader data officer and leader running officer.

Belk spokeswoman Jessica Rohlik didn’t in an instant respond to an emailed request for remark from the Observer on Saturday as as to whether extra used to be at the back of Patel’s departure.

Patel didn’t in an instant respond to a request for touch upon his RelatedIn web page.

Experts: Little trade at Belk

The iconic division retailer has modified little since rising from chapter a 12 months in the past, bringing into query the corporate’s long-term sustainability, retail professionals informed The Charlotte Observer in February.

“I haven’t seen anything significantly different to their product line, or in terms of ways of promoting products,” mentioned Steven Cox, a advertising professor at Queens University 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 corporate with just about 300 retailer in 16 southern states has a dependable following of consumers. But that’s slipping, too, mentioned Nick Egelanian, retail analyst and president of Siteworks, a Maryland-based retail construction company.

Department shops can’t compete with “ubiquitous” corporations, he mentioned, that provide decrease costs and comfort, similar to Burlington and TJX-owned shops T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods.

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

Following its chapter, Belk made management and different interior strikes final summer time. The corporate additionally introduced some contactless products and services and new merchandise.

The largest trade got here on the best, with the promotion of Patel from president and leader of vending officer to CEO, changing Harper.

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

Also final summer time, Belk mentioned it could sublease its company place of business on Tyvola Road in Charlotte, the place about 1,200 staff paintings. Belk has about 17,000 full- and part-time staff at its shops and distribution heart.

Charlotte Observer trade creator Catherine Muccigrosso contributed to this tale.

This is a growing tale. Check again for updates.

This tale used to be at the start revealed May 14, 2022 8:21 AM.

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