Report: Belk investing in IT upgrade

New York City -- Belk is investing $150 million to boost online sales and upgrade its IT systems, The Charlotte Observer reported.

The department store operator plans to focus on improving its e-commerce functions and replace its current systems for ordering and allocating merchandise, according to the report.

Belk has sought to boost its online presence in recent years to keep up with competitors in a marketplace where online sales are growing rapidly.

Belk, the nation's largest privately owned department store, currently has a text-message system customers can sign up for to be alerted about deals. But customers currently cannot shop on their smartphones. Belk hopes to roll out mobile shopping applications next year.