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Encyclopedia > Dillard's
This article is about a department store chain. For The Dillards, a progressive bluegrass band, see The Dillards.
Type Public (NYSE: DDS)
Founded 1948
Headquarters Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Industry Retail
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics and housewares.
Website www.dillards.com

Dillard's (NYSE: DDS), based in Little Rock, Arkansas, is a major department store chain in the United States, with 330 stores in 29 states.[1] Its locations are concentrated in the South, particularly Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. It competes on a price level with Belk and Macy's. The interior of a typical Macys department store. ... Progressive bluegrass, also known as newgrass (a term attributed to New Grass Revival member Ebo Walker), is one of two major subgenres of bluegrass music. ... Dillards is also a department store chain in the United States. ... Image File history File links Dillards_logogif. ... A public company usually refers to a company which is permitted to offer its securities (stock, bonds, etc. ... The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), nicknamed the Big Board, is a New York City-based stock exchange. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... Coordinates: Country United States State Arkansas County Pulaski Founded 1821 Incorporated 1831 Government  - Mayor Mark Stodola Area  - City  116. ... Drawing of a self-service store. ... A Web site (or colloquially, Website) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos and other digital assets that is hosted on a Web server, usually accessible via the Internet or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML, that is almost always accessible via HTTP... The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), nicknamed the Big Board, is a New York City-based stock exchange. ... Coordinates: Country United States State Arkansas County Pulaski Founded 1821 Incorporated 1831 Government  - Mayor Mark Stodola Area  - City  116. ... The interior of a typical Macys department store. ... Historic Southern United States. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... Official language(s) English Capital Montgomery Largest city Birmingham Area  Ranked 30th  - Total 52,419 sq mi (135,765 km²)  - Width 190 miles (306 km)  - Length 330 miles (531 km)  - % water 3. ... Official language(s) English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Largest metro area Miami Area  Ranked 22nd  - Total 65,795[1] sq mi (170,304[1] km²)  - Width 361 miles (582 km)  - Length 447 miles (721 km)  - % water 17. ... Belk, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the United States largest privately-held department store chain. ... Macys is a chain of American department stores with its flagship store in Herald Square, New York City, which has been billed as the worlds largest store since completion of the Seventh Avenue addition in 1924. ...



Dillard's is the outgrowth of a Nashville, Arkansas, department store founded in 1938 by William T. Dillard; its corporate headquarters remain located in the eastern edge of Little Rock's Riverdale area, and many of its executives and directors are members of the Dillard family.

Dillard sold the Nashville store to develop a larger one in Texarkana, Arkansas, in 1948, 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-Dunkin 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.

Thereafter the chain grew rapidly as an anchor in suburban shopping malls, and took advantage of market conditions to acquire smaller chains as well as its ability to turnaround locations that other companies could not operate profitably.

The exterior of a typical Dillard's department store at the Firewheel Town Center in Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex/Garland, Texas.

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1065x693, 430 KB) Summary Dillards at Firewheel Towncenter I took this photo. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1065x693, 430 KB) Summary Dillards at Firewheel Towncenter I took this photo. ... A typical view of the mall. ... The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex encompasses the metropolitan divisions of Dallas–Plano–Irving and Fort Worth–Arlington, within the U.S. state of Texas. ... Garland is a suburb of Dallas, Texas, in Dallas County, Texas, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 215,768. ...

Acquisitions & growth

Growth of the Dillard's chain came quickly in 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: 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-White's in West Texas was purchased in the summer.

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. 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. The D.H. Holmes company was purchased in 1989, bringing 18 units primarily in Louisiana, as well two former Goldwaters units in Tucson, Arizona.

1990s acquisitions

The Ivey's chain of 23 stores in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina was added in 1990. This was followed by the acquisition of eight Florida Gulf Coast stores from Maison Blanche Co. in 1991 (which had acquired them as Robinsons of Florida only a few years before). In 1992, the remaining interest in the Higbee's stores were acquired, as well as five Ohio stores from Horne's (as part of a legal settlement, Dillard's having cancelled 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, three former Thalhimer's in North Carolina and Tennessee, a former Lord & Taylor store in Memphis, Tennessee and three former Belk-Lindsey stores in Florida were acquired by Dillard's. Except for two Belk of Columbia stores acquired in 1995, acquisitions were eschewed for several years until in early 1997 ten buildings in Florida were acquired from Mervyns, seven southern Virginia stores were purchase from Proffitt's (which had acquired them from Hess's in 1993), and three Macy's units in Houston, Texas were absorbed.

Acquisition of Mercantile

The deal-making culminated with the purchase of Mercantile Stores Co., Inc. in 1998. This brought several chains, including Bacon's, Castner Knott, de Lendrecie's, Gayfers, Glass Block, Hennessy's, J.B. White, Joslins, Lion, 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.


After the acquisition of Mercantile, Dillard's ceased expanding through acquisitions (though eight locations of the defunct Montgomery Ward, and four locations from ZCMI in Utah and Idaho were acquired in 2001).

The chain continues to expand and has recently begun adding stores in non-mall shopping centers : its largest store at 350,000 square feet (33,000 m²) is located at Scottsdale Fashion Square in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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 American Express.

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