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Dillard's Inc.

Dillard’s Inc. is a chain of fashion apparel and home furnishings retailers with annual revenues of about $6 billion. The company grew from a single small store in Nashville (Howard County) founded by William Dillard, who died in 2002.

Notable acquisitions include Dillard’s purchase of the Joseph Pfeifer Department Stores in Little Rock and Hot Springs in 1963 for a rumored $3.5 million, and its $2.9 billion buy of the 103-store, Fairfield, Ohio-based Mercantile Stores Co. in May 1998.

Publicly traded since June 1989, the department store chain offers a variety of merchandise, including private-level products, at about 300 stores in more than 20 states.

In April 2008, James Mitarotonda, the hedge fund investor with Barington Capital Group and its ally Clinton Group Inc. reached an agreement with Dillard's to elect four new nominees to the Dillard's board to avoid a proxy fight.

Dillard plans for 2008 included closing underperforming stores, reducing capital and other expenses and improving the merchandise. Dillard's reported a fiscal year 2008 loss and continued to see quarterly losses and monthly same-store sales declines in 2009.

After aggressively cutting costs and trimming underperforming stores, the company has bounced back. "Dillard's was in freefall," Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates Inc., a national retail consulting and investment banking firm in New York, said in May 2010. "I think we can say they're no longer in freefall."

A year later, the success continued, and Dillard's stock price hit record highs.

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