After Aggressive Steps, Dillard's Shows Signs of Rebirth

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, May. 17, 2010 12:00 am  

Store Closings

Dillard's also has been shutting the doors of underperforming stores. In 2005, Dillard's had 330 stores. At the end of January, it had 297 locations and 12 clearance centers in 29 states. Dillard's said it would continue to close underperforming stores as needed.

Dillard's said it planned to open two stores this fiscal year: a 155,000-SF store in Fairview, Texas, and a 200,000-SF store in Austin, Texas.

Davidowitz said Dillard's had some breathing room in which to continue operating.

"I think Dillard's is trying to buy time for when things get better," he said.

But it's unclear when Dillard's might see an improvement in sales, Davidowitz said.

"Dillard's looks like a very weak player [in the retail sector]. Nothing can change that," he said. "But I think management has for the first time taken more steps than they have in the past. ... They've taken steps to survive."

He said the jump in stock price, nearly 980 percent in about 18 months, reflects the positive moves Dillard's has made.

"They appear financially stable," Davidowitz said. "You couldn't say that 18 months ago."



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