Charlotte department store chain Belk is considering a possible sale.

Five of the chains 300 stores are in Louisiana: Denham Springs, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier City and Monroe. Belk has stores in 16 Southern states.

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.

“We are performing due diligence to carefully explore all options for our future,” Belk spokeswoman Jessica Graham said in a statement. That process is expected to take several months.

The company has more than 1,300 employees at its corporate offices.

The Belk name appears on a freeway, a college bowl game and the business school at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Goldman Sachs would not talk about the situation.

Belk was founded in Monroe, North Carolina, in 1888 by William Henry Belk. Most of Belk’s 41 million shares of stock are still owned by the Belk family.

Belk’s sales totaled just over $4 billion last year, an increase of nearly 2 percent from 2013. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 1.5 percent for the year. Online sales increased 43 percent.

Belk said earnings totaled $146 million for last fiscal year, a 7.8 percent drop from the previous year. The company attributed the decline to its investments in e-commerce and remodeling stores.