12/14/04 — Kinston Proffitt's to sell to Belk

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Kinston Proffitt's to sell to Belk

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on December 14, 2004 2:10 PM

KINSTON -- Proffitt's department store at the Vernon Park Mall in Kinston will close in February, the Kinston Free Press reported today.

The lease for the Kinston Proffitt's, as well as leases for stores in Greenville, Goldsboro and Rocky Mount, are being bought by retail competitor Belk, the newspaper reported. Headquartered in Charlotte, Belk also operates a store at the Vernon Park Mall in Kinston.

Berkeley Mall officials in Goldsboro could not confirm the deal and what affect it would have here. Calls to Belk and Proffitt's corporate officials were not returned by press time.

The Free Press also reports that the Kinston mall will lose two other stores during the first two months of 2005: Bath & Body Works and Rack Room Shoes. Both closings are the result of company downsizing and restructuring, mall officials told the Free Press.

"The closing of Proffitt's is a shock to us and a shock to the community ... It was doing extremely well here," Vernon Park Mall Manager Michael D. Ingalls said. "The community as a whole liked the Proffitt's store."

Linda Priestley, manager of Berkeley Mall in Goldsboro, when contacted by the News-Argus could not confirm if the Goldsboro Proffitt's lease will be purchased by Belk.

Officials said they could not confirm the fate of the Bath & Body Works at Berkeley Mall either.

Mark Schueller with Rack Room Shoes corporate office in Charlotte, said there are no plans to do anything with the Rack Room Shoes in Goldsboro, which is on Berkeley Boulevard.