Dillard's operates a chain of upscale department stores with 294 locations in 29 states. The stores are located in the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwestern United States. Dillard's stores feature clothing and home furnishings from national brands and exclusive sources.
For the year ending January 29, 2011, total revenues were $6.25 billion and net income of $179.6 million.
The company has total square footage retail space of 53.5 million
William Dillard, the founder and Chairman of Dillard's, developed a keen interest in retailing at an early age. He started in 1938 with $8,000 borrowed from his father and opened a small store in his wife's hometown of Nashville, AR. By that time, he had better than 12 years of part-time and summer experience working in his father's Mineral Springs, AR store. After completing college (University of Arkansas-1935) and graduate school (Columbia University School of Business-1937), Mr. Dillard began working as a management trainee for Sears Roebuck & Company. Shortly after completing the training course, a period of only seven months, Mr. Dillard left Sears and opened his first store.
Even in the beginning, Mr. Dillard was well aware of the value of effective advertising in building a business. With each move/expansion, the company has stressed value in its advertising. Aside from a short period during World War II, the Company continued operating and expanding its Nashville location. In 1948, Dillard, looking for more growth prospects, sold the Nashville store and used the money, along with some outside financing, to buy controlling interest in a Texarkana (AR,TX) store. His competitive strategy was to offer attractively priced national name brand merchandise along with customer credit. By 1953, it was the leading store in Texarkana. From Texarkana, Dillard expanded to Tyler, Texas in 1956 with the purchase of an existing store. In early 1960 he entered into a similar transaction for a Tulsa, Oklahoma store which was twice the size of the now thriving Tyler operation. Like his other acquisitions, he was quick to make it profitable and to pay down acquisition-related debt.
The department store operator opened his first store in a shopping mall in 1964 in Austin, TX, a decision which proved to have significant implications in the chain's future growth strategy. One of the cornerstones of Dillard's philosophy is that location is the key to success. Meanwhile, the Company had established a credit subsidiary, purchased two central Arkansas department store chains, relocated its headquarters to Little Rock, AR, implemented a centralized computer system, realigned its capital structure and used its existing store base as a vehicle for expansion into mall locations. Throughout the late sixties and beyond, this aggressive mall expansion would continue.
In 1969, Dillard Department Stores, Inc. went public, offering its Class A Common Stock to eager investors for the first time on May 9. By the early 1970's, the chain had moved into Louisiana, Missouri and New Mexico and had expanded its presence in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, thus necessitating a divisional organization within the parent company. In 1974, the purchase of five stores from Tandy's Leonard's Division gave Dillard a strong foothold in the Dallas/Fort Worth market.
Dillard's offers a very competitive benefits package including health insurance, life insurance, dental/vision, paid vacation, retirement plan, and a generous employee discount.
Updated March 15, 2011