Pandemic prompts layoffs at Belk department store chain

Belk (Photo: WWAY)

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has prompted layoffs at the Belk department store chain, including at its North Carolina-based corporate headquarters.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the Charlotte-based company declined to disclose the total number of job losses.

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The company has about 1,300 employees at its corporate office and about 20,000 employees total.

Belk said in a statement that it “had to make some of the most difficult decisions of its 130-year history.”

The company said it is providing severance packages to those affected.

The company had closed 291 stores in 16 Southern states because of COVID-19.

Stores began to reopen in May.