Dillard's, Inc. Holds Store Tour with William Dillard, III
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Dillard's, Inc. (NYS: DDS) (the "Company" or "Dillard's") conducted a tour of its NorthPark Mall store in Dallas, Texas yesterday. William Dillard, III toured guests through the store, highlighting current strategies following a meet and greet luncheon.
Mr. Dillard provided an overview of the Company's Internet strategies at dillards.com, its initiatives in the home and furniture area as well as continuing successful strategies in ladies' accessories and intimate apparel.
Mr. Dillard shared that first quarter sales at dillards.com increased 21% over the prior year first quarter and spoke of the Company's ongoing consideration of how to grow the business effectively, noting the opening of the new Internet Fulfillment Center in Little Rock in the spring of 2012. Mr. Dillard confirmed that, to date, the Company has not offered free shipping on dillards.com.
Mr. Dillard highlighted the company's successful exclusive brand programs and noted that in 2012 exclusive brands comprised approximately 22% of total sales. Specifically, he highlighted the Company's exclusive brand shoe program which began in partnership with Vince Camuto in the early 2000's. He spoke of the success of core brands, including Gianni Bini and Antonio Melani, as well as their later extension into handbags and ladies' apparel. Mr. Dillard noted that the sales penetration of ladies' exclusive brand shoes is approximately 28%-30% of ladies' shoes sales.
Mr. Dillard acknowledged that first quarter ending inventory increased 3% over the prior year while comparable store sales increased 1%. He pointed to tough comparisons compared to last year's first quarter with regard to both ending inventory and sales and highlighted progress over a two year period. Additionally, he noted a change in the cadence of markdowns to better match shopper psychology and resulting seasonal buying patterns. The Company continues to refine its markdown strategy in order to improve gross margin performance. Mr. Dillard is pleased with the current inventory composition and noted that the company remains committed to disciplined inventory management.
In the home area, Mr. Dillard highlighted initiatives to update the Company's mix of home merchandise to a more exciting and contemporary offering as well as the elimination of a historically promotional pricing strategy and a move to a more balanced pricing approach. He noted that while sales in the home and furniture category were down significantly for the first quarter, gross margin for the category was up significantly.
Mr. Dillard summarized that the key to the Company's success is capitalizing on successful initiatives and extending them to additional areas of the store, adding that doing a lot of little things right has served the Company well. He thanked guests in attendance for their interest in Dillard's.
Dillard's, Inc. is one of the nation's largest fashion apparel and home furnishing retailers. The Company's stores operate with one name, Dillard's, and span 29 states. Dillard's stores offer a broad selection of merchandise, including products sourced and marketed under Dillard's exclusive brand names. For more information about Dillard's, Inc. please visit www.dillards.com.
Julie J. Bull, 501-376-5965
KEYWORDS: United States North America Arkansas Texas
The article Dillard's, Inc. Holds Store Tour with William Dillard, III originally appeared on Fool.com.
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.