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Union County e-commerce center to shutter

Molly Hulsey //March 14, 2022//

Union County e-commerce center to shutter

Molly Hulsey //March 14, 2022//

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Once an expanding boon for the Union County economy, the Belk Fulfillment Center in Jonesville is on a fast track toward closure. 

According to an S.C. Works WARN notification report, the e-commerce hub is projected to close on April 30 this year, sparking the layoff of 310 employees. 

Belk cut the ribbon on the 512,000-square-foot distribution center in 2012. (Photo/File)The North Carolina-based department store also has retail locations in Easley, Greenville’s Haywood Mall, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Seneca, Gaffney, Greenwood, Spartanburg and Laurens. After the closure of the Jonesville site, the last remaining distribution center in the state will be in Blythewood, near Columbia. 

The decision follows the completion of Belks’ financial restructuring last February, which reduces its debt by $450 million and boosted new capital sources by $225 million, according to the company, which is owned by New York private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

The restructuring plan also extended maturities on all company loans to July 2025 as the company aimed to transition from a traditional department store into “full omni retailer” with a growing e-commerce presence. 

"As part of an effort to further align our supply chain network with the needs of the company, the Belk fulfillment center in Jonesville, SC will be closing in the coming months," Belk spokesperson Jessica Rohlik told GSA Business Report in an email. "The decision was made after careful review of internal processes. We know the closure will affect associates at the Jonesville fulfillment center, and we are committed to working with them in the coming weeks to provide resources during the transition."

Belk first announced plans in 2012 to invest $4.5 million in Union’s 500,000-square-foot former Disney facility to launch a distribution and fulfillment center as an extension of the company’s existing Pineville, N.C., logistics operations. After a $9 million upfitting, the company said it would invest an additional $32 million by 2015 after the “rapid growth” of online sales. 

In 2014, the company said it would invest a collective $47 million in the facility to grow its footprint by 50% at 345,000 square feet by 2015. 

“Belk’s e-commerce business continues to grow, and with it the demand for increased distribution and fulfillment operations, John R. Belk, former president and COO of Belk said in the 2014 announcement. “Our Jonesville facility has been a key factor in our growth, and we are pleased to be able to invest additional resources in and to bring additional jobs to Union County.”