Belk Takes Private Brand in New Directions

Charlotte, NC -based department store Belk operates 305 department stores in 16 states primarily in the South. Features a portfolio of Private Brands, including Madison, ND-New Directions, Choices, Kim Rogers, J. Khaki, Pro Tour, Saddlebred, Red Camel, Nursery Rhyme, Belk Silverworks, Be Inspired, Biltmore For Your Home, Biltmore Apothecary, Mary Jane’s Farm, Home Accents, and Cook’s Tools.

Late last year Belk officially announced that it was refreshing its brand positioning at the upscale Charlotte mall SouthPark Mall, the new logo is the first since 1967. The chain plans a $70 million marketing campaign that includes the slogan “Modern. Southern. Style.” Sixty stores will get new signs in the first phase, and the remainder will get new signs in 2011.

Over the last few weeks Belk has featured its the ‘casual attitude’, modern southern Private Brand ND New Directions online and in circular. This post from their official blog “belkblog” takes a closer look at the Private Brand.

Brand Spotlight: ND New Directions

Gracing the cover of almost every Belk circular is the brand that typifies modern southern style at its best, ND New Directions. ND New Directions offers work-friendly, career options that make choosing a stylish outfit easy.

Versatile and Easy Care
Let’s face it, as the sandwich generation, our lives are busy enough. From chaperoning kids’ activities to checking in on aging parents, our days are full from the time we hit the alarm clock till we reset it that night. The team at ND New Directions gets that, and designs just the styles we need to pull together a polished look in a hurry.

Built on a black color base, this brand is perfect for the woman who wants a versatile and appropriate wardrobe. Drapey synthetics include linen blends for spring and cotton/rayon blends for summer and fall. All are easy care and flattering to wear. At a price that makes sense, ND New Directions fashion bridges the gap for modern southern women who are all grown up and living life to the fullest, with family and a career in full swing.

Better than Basics
A relatively young brand, ND New Directions debuted with summery skirts and tanks. Five years later, these essentials are still a strong part of the line. ND New Directions is constantly finding new ways to keep the brand relevant. In the last year, the team rolled out its most popular designs in new sizes for Petites and Today’s Woman shoppers.

In spring 2011, ND New Directions launched ND Weekend, a casual line to complement its work-wear fashions. ND Weekend features better than basic tees and tanks, great for layering but also conservative enough to wear alone. ND Weekend wear also offers more modern fits, like longer tees with slightly shorter sleeves. A blend of stretch fabric adds subtle definition at the waist. Twill and denim bottoms, from shorts and crops to full-length pants, mean you’re covered for the weekend, no matter what your plans.

The ND Weekend launch was so successful, it will roll out to all stores in Spring 2012.

Color and Personality
Both ND New Directions and ND New Directions Weekend appeal to our love of color and bold prints in the south. Even when black is the new black, and everyone up the east coast is swimming in it, ND New Directions offers the colors and prints that we southerners love. Novelty styling adds personality you can see, feel and even hear. Beads and metal embellishments decorate tees, tops and dresses. Good quality fabrics and workmanship ensure that these better-than-basic pieces will see us through each new trend.

In short, ND New Directions offers trend-right styles at a moderate price point in a true missy fit. To me, that simply means it looks stylish, fits comfortably, and most importantly makes me feel beautiful.

To learn more about Private Brand at Belk join me as I chair the Private Brand Movement conference in Chicago September 19 – 21 where Lisa Edwards, Package Design Manager, Belk will present, “BRANDING WITH SOUTHERN STYLE.”

Learn how a regional department store embraced the small but mighty southern charm to grow and diversify its brand portfolio to meet the needs of their core customers. From the heritage of Red Camel to the traditions of Home Accents, find out how Belk created brand identities that appeal and enhance their modern lifestyle by embracing design, strategy and collaboration.

My Private Brand group members can register with the code MYPBRAND and receive 20% off the standard rates.



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.