Dillard’s: The Style of Your Life
Last Updated on August 5, 2019
Dillard’s Department Store
In 1938, William T. Dillard founded what was to become one of the nation’s largest fashion retail chains. Dillard’s corporate headquarters are still located in the Riverdale area of Little Rock, Arkansas. Today, there are 289 Dillard’s locations in 29 states.
Today, 81 years since its founding, the Dillard family still controls the company through its ownership of Class B common stock.
Today, 81 years since its founding, the Dillard family still controls the company through its ownership of Class B common stock; the Class A common stock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Many of the company’s executives and directors are members of the Dillard family.
In the beginning…
In 1938, William Dillard was a minority partner in Wooten & Dillard, a five-and-dime store in Nashville, Arkansas. In 1948, he sold the five-and-dime to purchase Wooten’s department store in Texarkana, Arkansas.
The Dillard’s headquarters were established in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1964. In 1969, Dillard’s stock was first offered for public trading.
The company’s Class A common stock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Many of the company’s executives and directors are members of the Dillard family.
Always the businessman, in 1956, William led an investment group that acquired the Mayer & Schmidt store in Tyler, Texas. The store took on the name “Dillard’s Mayer & Schmidt.”
In 1974, Dillard’s acquired five Leonard’s department Stores in Texas and continued to expand quickly as an anchor in suburban shopping malls. They also bought out smaller chains and turned them into profitable businesses.
Throughout the 1980s, Dillard’s acquired 98 more stores in the south and mid-west. Continuing to expand, in 1990, 23 J.B. Ivey’s stores were acquired in the Carolinas and Florida. In 1998, 103 Mercantile stores were acquired across the United States. In 2001, 12 more stores were acquired in the south, mid-west and west, which included Montgomery Wards and ZCMI.
Dillard’s showed net sales in 2018 of $6.4 billion.
Dillard’s also operates 26 clearance centers which are located in malls throughout a number of states. These clearance centers give local consumers a great way to purchase brand-specific items at reduced prices.
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