14536 Fri, 05/23/2008 - 12:21pm
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.–Dillard’s blamed first-quarter declines on the weak economy as the department store reigns in expenses and targets more upscale shoppers.
Net sales slipped 5 percent to $1.67 billion. Comparable-store sales declined 6 percent.
Net income dropped to $2.7 million from $42.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income for the most recent quarter included asset impairment and store closing charges of $0.9 million. Net income for the year-ago quarter included a pretax $4.1 million hurricane recovery gain, asset impairment and store closings charges of $0.7 million.
“Our first-quarter performance was certainly disappointing. The weak economic conditions, particularly in Florida, made it extremely difficult to achieve profitable sales levels,” said William Dillard II, Dillard’s chief executive officer, in a statement.
Dillard’s has set plans to close underperforming stores, reduce capital expenditures, reduce expenses and continue to shift its merchandise mix to boost its appeal to aspirational, upscale and contemporary shoppers, the retailer said.
In related news, the retailer named Nick White, a retail veteran and former executive vice president of Wal-Mart Stores, to its board of directors at its annual shareholders meeting recently.