Burkes Outlet will soon open in two Lea County locations.
The apparel and accessories retail store plans ribbon cuttings at the Lovington Square on May 5 and at the Broadmoor Mall in Hobbs on June 2.
Grand openings at 9 a.m. will immediately follow the 8:45 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremonies each day at each location.
Lovington Mayor David Trujillo praised local property owners for their persistence in getting the interest of the Burkes Outlet officials to open the store at the shopping mall at 9th Street and Avenue D in Lovington.
“Filling that shopping center has always been very difficult. We have retail businesses coming and going,” Trujillo told the News-Sun.
The mayor hopes filling one large portion of the shopping center will encourage further development.
“Two major areas of that plaza are sometimes vacant. To see one of them get filled is a good blessing for Lovington,” Trujillo said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to work in something with the other one because once one comes in, it opens up eyes and doors for somebody else to come in and fill the other spot.”
Burkes Outlet is a privately held company owned by the founding family and its employees. With roots dating back to 1915, the Florida-based Bealls Inc., the parent company for Burkes Outlet, now operates more than 500 retail stores.
The outlet concept came into being in the late 1980s with three generations Bealls opening Bealls Outlets in Florida. The fourth generation joined the company in 2004.
According to the company website, “In 1998 the Burkes name was introduced for our store in Bay Minette, Ala., and is now used for our stores in 13 states from Nevada to Virginia.”
The Bealls Outlet name is used in Arizona, Florida and Georgia.
“Customers can find brand name apparel and accessories for the entire family at up to 70 percent off other stores’ prices every day,” according to the Burkes Outlet website. “In addition most stores carry shoes, home furnishings, gifts, and toys. Our stores are designed to serve customers of all ages and income levels. We pride ourselves in offering great assortments at great prices every day.”
The website emphasizes in a disclaimer note the parent company Bealls Department Stores of Florida has no affiliation with the previous Bealls Department Stores that were located in Hobbs and Lovington.
“Stores operated under the Bealls name located in (11 states in the western United States, including New Mexico) are managed and owned by Specialty Retailers, Inc. Specialty Retailers, Inc. is not affiliated with Burkes Outlet, with Bealls Outlet, or with Bealls Department Stores of Florida,” the website states.
A spokeswoman for Bealls confirmed in a previous interview both Bealls brand names are family names, but there is no relationship, either by family or in business.
The confusion may be exacerbated by the irony that Burkes Outlet, a Florida-based Bealls Inc. store, will occupy space once occupied by Stage, which previously was a different Bealls store. Only the name of the parent organization, not the company, is returning to spaces in both Hobbs and Lovington, and the store name will be Burkes Outlet.
The Hobbs location at the Boadmoor Mall, 1400 block of North Turner Street, was announced earlier this year, with real estate broker Donnie Roberts noting the effort to reach an agreement with the retail company took 23 months.
“We’re very excited. (Burkes Outlet has) taken approximately 20,000 square feet of space,” Roberts said. “That’s the last half. When Stage Stores left, we had 40,000 square feet come vacant. We put Rig Outfitters in half of it and now we’ve got Burkes coming in the other half.”
In Lovington, as part of his comments in the recent News-Sun progress edition, Mayor Trujillo concluded, “We are excited to have Burkes Outlet be a part of our community and we as a community will do our part by shopping local.”