Dillard’s Department Stores offer name-brand, good-value merchandise in attractive displays. Dillard’s sells a variety of good quality merchandise including men’s and women’s clothing, children’s clothing and accessories, furniture, cosmetics, kitchen accessories, tableware and small appliances. Stores feature national brands, but also provide Dillard’s exclusive brands.
Dillard’s, Inc. was founded by William T. Dillard in 1938. Dillard attended the University of Arkansas as an undergraduate, and completed an MBA at Columbia University in 1937. After university studies he trained with Sears & Roebuck but left the training program to begin building his Dillard’s Department Store empire. The first store opened in Nashville, Arkansas, with a loan of $8,000.
After World War II, Dillard sold his store in Nashville and bought another store in Texarkana, on the border of Texas and Arkansas. He acquired existing stores in several locations including Tyler, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, expanding his retail chain.
A significant purchase was a store in a suburban mall in Austin, Texas, in 1964, the advent of his move into suburban shopping malls throughout the country. As consumers moved out of city centers and into the suburbs, Dillard’s moved with them. The astute realization that consumers were shifting to outlying areas helped Dillard to successfully expand his chain at a crucial time.
Dillard began offering credit in the late 1950’s, which also helped profits. By the mid-1960’s, Dillard’s owned a credit subsidiary. Corporate headquarters were moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1969. At that time, the company made public offerings and was listed on the American Stock Exchange.
Dillard continued to buy good-quality stores within the Texas-Arkansas-Oklahoma-Missouri area, renaming them Dillard’s, thus continuing expansion. His acquisitions included Stix, Baer and Fuller from St. Louis, Missouri, Fedway in several Texas locations and Leonard’s in Fort Worth, Texas. He also bought several stores in Memphis, Tennessee, and Arizona. He continued to expand throughout the Southern and Midwestern states in the 1980’s, finding properties that illustrated his philosophy that location was of importance to the success of the stores.
Mr. Dillard used computer inventory and stocking systems before computers were regularly used in retail applications. By the mid-1970’s, the wide geographic location of Dillard’s stores necessitated formation of corporate divisions. Expansion continued throughout the 1980’s, with stores acquired in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
He stepped down from the company in 1998, entrusting management to his son, William Dillard II. Other children hold additional management positions in the company, which some analysts feel weakens the governance. William T. Dillard died in 2002, but Dillard’s, Inc. continues in 315 locations in 29 stares, with annual revenues nearing $6.9 billion.
Dillard’s corporate giving has focused on the Ronald McDonald House Charities. A primary focus is to provide temporary living assistance to children undergoing cancer treatment away from primary residences.
Ways to Find Special Deals, Coupon Codes, and Discounts for Dillards
Dillard’s, Inc. coupons are often included in weekly sections of local newspapers. Coupons may offer percent-off or dollars-off savings on selected items or entire store savings during specified times. Dillard’s offers a credit card rewards program through the Dillard’s Card and the Dillard’s American Express Card. Both cards offer two points for each dollar spent for Dillard’s purchases. In addition, one point is given per dollar spent in any location by using the American Express Card. Points are tracked, and after acquisition of 1500 points, a ten-percent off coupon is issued to be used for all purchases made in one day, selected by the customer, in a Dillard’s store or shopping on-line. Special offers and coupons are sent through e-mail notifications and to card holders.