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Dillard's, Inc.
Founded1938; 83 years ago (1938)
FounderWilliam T. Dillard
HeadquartersLittle Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Number of locations
285[1] (February 2019)[2]
Area served
United States
Key people
ProductsClothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.
RevenueIncrease US$6.34 billion (2020)[3]
Decrease US$207.962 million (FY 2018)[2]
Decrease US$170.263 million (FY 2018)[2]
Total assetsDecrease US$3.431 billion (FY 2018)[2]
Total equityDecrease US$1.678 billion (FY 2018)[2]
Number of employees
Increase~40,000 (December 31, 2020)[2]

Dillard's, Inc., is an upscale American department store chain with approximately 282 stores in 29 states and headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas.[4] Currently, the largest number of stores are located in Texas with 57 and Florida with 42. The company also has stores in 27 more states; however, it is absent from the Northeast (Washington, D.C., and northward), most of the Upper Midwest (no stores in Michigan, Chicago, Wisconsin, or Minnesota), the Northwest, and most of California, aside from three stores in smaller cities.[2]

Operations during 20th century[edit]

Early history[edit]

Dillard's is the outgrowth of a department store founded in 1938 by William T. Dillard; its corporate headquarters remain located at the eastern edge of Little Rock's Riverdale area and many of its executives and directors are members of the Dillard family. The family still controls the company through its ownership of Class B Common Stock; the Class A common stock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.[5] Dillard began his first store in Mineral Springs, Arkansas, in what was locally known as "the tater house". It was located across the street from the community's Methodist church. The building that housed the original store was torn down in the early 2000s. Dillard sold the original five and dime store in Nashville, Arkansas, to develop a department store in Texarkana, Arkansas, initially as the minority partner in Wooten & Dillard. In 1956, Dillard led an investment group that acquired the Mayer & Schmidt store in Tyler, Texas. This store eventually took on the name "Dillard's Mayer & Schmidt" until 1974, when it was replaced with a mall-based location south of downtown Tyler.

In 1960, Dillard acquired and turned around the failing Brown-Duncan store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The success of this turnaround was followed in late 1963 by acquiring the Joseph Pfeifer store in Little Rock, Arkansas, and in early 1964 acquiring the other main store in Little Rock, Gus Blass Co. Dillard used this as an opportunity to relocate his headquarters to Little Rock. In 1969, Dillard and his investors took Dillard Department Stores, Inc., public on the American Stock Exchange.


Interior of a now-relocated Dillard's store, at Four Seasons Town Centre, Greensboro, North Carolina

Thereafter, the chain expanded rapidly as an anchor in suburban shopping malls, and took advantage of market conditions to acquire smaller chains as well as its ability to turn around locations that other companies could not operate profitably. Expansion of the Dillard's chain increased rapidly during the 1970s, mainly through expanding into new malls being built in smaller cities in Texas. In 1971 five Texas units were acquired from Fedway, a division of Federated Department Stores (the stores were rebadged as Dillard's in 1972). In 1974, five Leonard's stores were acquired in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as a commitment to open a new downtown Fort Worth store at the Tandy Center (site of the original Leonard's). Also in 1974, the former Brown-Dunkin, Blass, Pfeifer and Mayer & Schmidt stores were fully renamed Dillard's.

The 1980s brought the purchase of many local chains. In 1982, Dillard's leased three units of the defunct Lowenstein's chain in Memphis, Tennessee. In early 1984, Dillard's acquired 12 Stix, Baer & Fuller stores in St. Louis and Kansas City from Associated Dry Goods Corp., while in fall 1984 two department store divisions were purchased from Dayton-Hudson Corporation: Diamond's and John A. Brown, with locations in Arizona, Nevada and Oklahoma. Twelve stores in Kansas and Missouri belonging to R. H. Macy & Co.'s Midwest Division, which was later dissolved in 2006, were acquired in early 1986, while the three-unit Hemphill-Wells company in West Texas was purchased in the summer. The stores at Sunset Mall in San Angelo and South Plains Mall in Lubbock were both converted, while the third in downtown Lubbock was closed.[6]

In 1987, Dillard's purchased 26 of Joske's 27 stores in Texas and Arizona as well as the four-unit Cain-Sloan chain in Nashville, Tennessee, from Allied Stores Corp. This deal gave Dillard's two major anchor locations at several malls in Texas and Arizona with many of the second locations being converted to a separate, expanded home and men's stores, a format that Dillard's utilized greatly, both to grow its store size cost-effectively and to prevent competitors from gaining valuable real estate. Additionally, the Joske's acquisition gave Dillard's entry into the Houston market. That same year, Dillard's co-founded CDI Contractors, a construction company that would help build, remodel, and repair most of its locations, with William "Bill" Clark and Braggs Electric Construction Company.[7]

Dillard's in 1988 acquired the former Selber Bros. clothing department store chain, founded in 1907 in Shreveport, Louisiana, which also had a few locations in Texas.[8]

In 1988, Dillard's purchased the three-unit Miller & Paine chain in Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as more significantly, a half-interest and operational control of The Higbee Co., based in Cleveland, Ohio, with partner Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. D. H. Holmes Co., Ltd., of New Orleans, was purchased in 1989, bringing 18 units primarily in Louisiana, as well two former Diamond's units in Tucson, Arizona.


Dillard's Headquarters Building in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Dillard's during the Christmas shopping season at Ingram Park Mall in San Antonio, Texas. There is also a separate home store there in a former Joske's.

The Ivey's chain of 23 stores in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina was acquired from BATUS in 1990. This was followed by Maison Blanche selling eight stores on Florida's Gulf Coast to them in 1991. The locations were at Tyrone Square Mall, University Square Mall, WestShore Plaza, Countryside Mall, Southgate Plaza, Edison Mall, Coastland Center, and Lakeland Square Mall. In 1992, the remaining interest in the Higbee's stores was acquired, as well as five Ohio stores from Horne's (as part of a legal settlement, Dillard's having canceled a 1988 deal to acquire the chain). Also in 1992, three stores from the Hess's chain liquidation (five other former Hess's were acquired in 1994), two E.M. Scarbrough's locations in Austin, Texas, two Thalhimer's in South Carolina and Tennessee, a former Lord & Taylor store at Oak Court Mall in Memphis, Tennessee and three Belk-Lindsey stores in Florida (Gulf View, DeSoto, and Eastlake). Except for two Belk of Columbia stores that were acquired in 1995, acquisitions were eschewed for a couple of years until early 1997 when ten buildings in Florida were sold from Mervyn's. These included 5 purchased from Lord & Taylor in 1991 at Cutler Ridge Mall (1982), Coral Square (1984), Miami International Mall, Boynton Beach Mall (both 1985), and Treasure Coast Square (1987), along with 3 acquired from Jordan Marsh in 1992 at Pompano Fashion Square (1970), Broward Mall (1978), and Melbourne Square (1983), and the remaining 2 at Lakeland Square Mall (1986) and Pembroke Lakes Mall (1992). At the same time, five southern Virginia stores were purchased from Proffitt's, all of which were acquired from Hess's in 1993. This deal included 2 that were also taken over from Rices Nachmans in 1985 at Coliseum Mall (1973) and Pembroke Mall (1981), and 3 newly built stores Patrick Henry Mall, Greenbrier Mall (both 1987), and Chesapeake Square (1988). Three suburban Macy's stores in Houston at Willowbrook Mall, Deerbrook Mall (both 1984), and Baybrook Mall (1985) were absorbed while the location at The Galleria (1986) was not affected.

The deal-making culminated with the purchase of Mercantile Stores Co., Inc., in 1998. The purchase of this Fairfield, Ohio-based department store company brought several chains, including Bacon's, Castner Knott, de Lendrecie's, Gayfers, Glass Block, Hennessy's, J.B. White, Joslins, Lion Store, Maison Blanche, McAlpin's, Root's and The Jones Store. Dillard's sold 26 stores of the former Mercantile Stores to May Department Stores Co. and Saks Incorporated and traded an additional seven stores to Belk for nine of theirs in southern Virginia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Overall this deal enabled Dillard's to enhance its position in several markets in the South, Midwest and Mountain states.

Also in 1998, the chain entered California, opening its first store in a former Weinstock's at Weberstown Mall in Stockton, California.[9] In 1999, Dillard's opened stores at Mall of Georgia and Arbor Place Mall near Atlanta, Georgia.

Operations during 21st century[edit]

Dillard's in Fairview, Texas opened on March 10, 2010.

After the acquisition of Mercantile, Dillard's ceased expanding through acquisitions, although eight locations of the defunct Montgomery Ward in the Midwest, and four locations from ZCMI in Utah and Idaho were acquired in 2001, when stores opened at Chandler Fashion Center in Chandler, Arizona, The Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia, Georgia, The Mall at Wellington Green in Wellington, Florida, International Plaza and Bay Street in Tampa, Florida, and The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano, Texas.

In 2004, Dillard's store credit card operation, operated as Dillard's National Bank, was sold to GE Money Bank. Customers can now be issued Dillard's/American Express cards as well the traditional Dillard's store charge. These cards can be used at any store that accepts the American Express brand.

In 2005, Dillard's opened stores at Perimeter Mall and Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Georgia as well as St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, Florida.

In 2008, Dillard's closed their travel agency, Dillard's Travel, alongside all in-store locations due to economic conditions. Dillard's Travel previously operated in 43 of the 318 stores.[10] Also in 2008, stores opened at both The Shops at Wiregrass and Pier Park in Florida. Additionally, Dillard's announced that it had completed a transaction to acquire the remaining fifty percent (50%) interest in CDI Contractor's, LLC and CDI Contractor's Inc which it did not already own.[11] As of Tuesday December 4, 2018, Dillard's has recently announced a brand new location coming in fall 2019 to Sioux Falls, SD to the former Younkers in Empire Mall.

Store formats[edit]

Map of Dillard's locations

The chain continues to expand and has recently added stores in non-traditional mall shopping centers. Currently, the largest Dillard's store at 365,000 square feet (33,900 m2) is located at Scottsdale Fashion Square, an enclosed super-regional mall in Scottsdale, Arizona. Within the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the chain has two flagship stores with a 299,000-square-foot (27,800 m2) store at the Northpark Center in Dallas and a 310,000-square-foot (29,000 m2) store at the North East Mall in Hurst.[12] Its flagship store in the East Coast region, at 260,000 square feet (24,000 m2), is located in the MacArthur Center in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. The home store for the chain is in Little Rock; the divided store is located in the trend-conscious Park Plaza Mall, one of the city's oldest continuously operating shopping centers in its midtown section.

Clearance Centers[edit]

Dillard's Clearance Center in Kenner, Louisiana
This is a Dillard's Clearance Center in The Esplanade Mall in Kenner, Louisiana

Dillard's Clearance Centers occupy 26 mall spaces throughout multiple states for the clearance stock of clothing from prior seasons.[13] They are usually located within lower-income areas as the no longer high priced items are not as covetable for the general clientele Dillard's procures. The 265 regular department stores ship the clearance clothing at already 60% off to these Clearance Centers where the clothing is then marked down further to liquidate the heaps of clothing and shoes.[13] The Clearance Centers rival that of a Marshalls or TJ Maxx with unknown sizes or quantities of a specific item. However, all the clothing at Dillard's Clearance Centers are direct from the normal Dillard's Department Stores close to and surrounding the one outlet. The goods that are sent to these stores are including, but not limited to: overstocked, offseason, didn't sell well, or damaged.[14] This is an easy way to buy all of the brand-specific items at a cheaper, more economical price.

The hours may vary a little bit by store or holiday; however, the generic hours of a Clearance Center are Tuesday through Saturday from 12 pm to 7 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm. On Mondays, the Clearance Centers are closed for the restocking of the Clearance items.[15]

On a week-to-week basis, each Dillard's Clearance Center receives further markdowns by each department, i. e. Ladies’ Shirts and Men's Pants could be an extra 50% off the already reduced 60% off merchandise making the total be around 80% off the original market value.[15]


  1. ^ https://www.dillards.com/stores#Montana
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Dillard's, Inc. 2018 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". sec.gov. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. February 2019.
  3. ^ www.macrotrends.net/. Macro Trends https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/DDS/dillards/revenue. Retrieved February 10, 2021. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Dillard's Investor Relations". Dillard's. Archived from the original on 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2007-03-09.
  5. ^ "Dillard's Proxy statement".
  6. ^ Laughlin, Lee (16 July 1986). "Hemphill-Wells, Dep't store chain, bought by Dillard's". Daily News Record. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  7. ^ "CDI Contractors, Who We Are".
  8. ^ "Aaron Selber". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  9. ^ Hood, Jeff (20 April 1998). "Dillard's settling in". RecordNet.com. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Dilliard's Closes Travel Agency, To Affect 160 Employees". Archived from the original on 2009-01-14.
  11. ^ "Dillard's Announces Completion of Acquisition of CDI Contractors LLC".
  12. ^ "Dillard's - Tarrant, TX 76053". USA BIZ DIR. USABIZDIR. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  13. ^ a b "NASDAQ".
  14. ^ "Dillard's in Harlingen to Downgrade to a Clearance Store". The Monitor.
  15. ^ a b "Store Locator". Dillard's.

External links[edit]