Belk says it will close local store

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Riverside Parkway Belk is closing in favor of a newer, much larger store at the Mall of Georgia.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk Inc. began running ads in Sunday's Gwinnett Daily Post announcing store closing sales would start the day after Christmas. There was speculation Belk would make the decision, but the company has not returned numerous calls from the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Belk plans to begin renovations on a 120,000-square-foot store at the Mall of Georgia in February and open by April. Belk is renovating the space Lord & Taylor has held ever since the mall opened.

The Lord & Taylor space gives Belk one of the larger locations in its 277-store chain. Belk will become a Mall of Georgia anchor store alongside Nordstrom, Dillard's, JC Penney, Macy's, Dick's Sporting Goods and Regal Cinemas.

Belk, the largest privately-owned department store chain in the United States, has 41 Georgia stores, including Gwinnett locations in Norcross, Snellville and Lawrenceville.