CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) – Department store chain Belk is considering a possible sale.

The company issued a statement Thursday saying it was considering all options for its future.

Belk said it has retained the Goldman Sachs investment bank to help study its best options. That process is expected to take several months.

There are nearly 300 Belk's stores in 16 Southern states. The company has more than 1,300 employees at its corporate offices. Chattanooga has two locations; Hamilton Place and Northgate Mall. There are also stores in Dalton and Cleveland.

Goldman Sachs would not talk about the situation.

Belk was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk. Most of Belk's 41 million shares of stock are still owned by the Belk family.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.