Dillard's March Sales Down 8 Percent

by Lance Turner  on Thursday, Apr. 7, 2005 11:48 am  

A month after recording a 5 percent sales increase for February, Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock reported an 8 percent drop in sales for March.

The department store chain said sales for the five-week period, which included Easter and ended April 3, were about $636 million, down from the $691 million it reported during the same month last year.

Monthly sales dropped 8 percent on a same-store and total basis, the company said.

Dillard's said sales of lingerie, accessories, shoes and cosmetics "significantly exceeded" its average trend during the month, but that sales of women's and men's apparel were "significantly below" trend. Sales were strongest in the company's Eastern region.

Last March, Dillard's posted a 3 percent sales increase. That was followed by another 4 percent increase for April, followed by a seven-month stretch of monthly sales declines. The retailer finally posted a gain of 3 percent in December.

Shares of Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) were trading down more than 3 percent at $27.04 on Thursday after closing at $28.14 on Wednesday.

Dillard's, which sells fashion apparel and home furnishings, has stores in 29 states.



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