Dillard's Same-store Sales Fall 14 Percent

Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock said Thursday that monthly April same-store sales plummeted 14 percent, while analysts had expected only a 4 percent drop.
The department store chain said sales for the four weeks ended May 5 were $490 million, compared to sales for the four weeks ended April 29, 2006, of $562 million. Total sales decreased 13 percent for the four-week period.
The retailer appeared to blame the Easter holiday weekend for the sales drop, noting in its news release that Easter holiday shopping activity "occurred entirely in the fiscal month of March in 2007 and largely in April of 2006 as the holiday occurred two weeks earlier this year."
Dillard's was among many retailers reporting weak results for the month, which was marked by poor weather and the loss of the Easter shopping season. Easter took place in early April this year, moving most holiday shopping to March.
During the month, Dillard's said, sales in its Western region were above the company's average sales performance for period. Sales in its Eastern and Central regions were below trend.
During the period, sales of home, furniture and other merchandise declined less than the company's average sales trend for the period, Dillard's said. Sales of juniors' and children's apparel declined more than trend. Sales of cosmetics declined more than trend primarily due to calendar shift of gift-with-purchase promotions, Dillard's said.