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E. Colin Lindsey

January 1, 2019

Honorary Vice Chairman Belk Lindsey Stores (Deceased) – Tampa, Florida

Known as the “Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur,” E. Colin Lindsey is the farsighted merchant who became the Florida partner of the Belk department store chain in the South. His first association with William Henry Belk was when he was hired in 1918 to sell shoes in Belk Brothers in Charlotte, North Carolina. The first Belk Lindsey store opened in October in 1935. Belk Lindsey is now a 35 store, $100 million operation. It was Mr. Lindsey who first used his store to anchor a shopping mall not in downtown and who was first to air-condition his stores. He always maintained a “customer-first, quality, affordable prices” approach to his merchandising. His role in the company is now advisory since he has passed on the management to longtime staff members. The success of the business he created is often referred to as the result of his vision and genius. He shies away from the genius connotation. “I had a lot of luck good upbringing, and I guess I wanted to get ahead,” he says. Mr. Lindsey acquired his affectionate nickname, “Kingfish,” as a result of his early political activity. “Integrity is the most important thing you can have in any business.”