Careers at Dillard’s
Dillard’s operates principally as a retail chain, providing a range of high-end branded products directly to consumers, across multiple product categories, including apparel, home furnishings, and shoes and accessories.
Dillard’s organises its operations into two reportable business segments:
- Retail Operations, which comprises the Company’s operation of digital sales a channels and its chain of department stores, through which it sells clothing and consumer products such as furniture; and
- Construction, which comprises of the operations of the Company’s CDI Contractors subsidiary, which operates as a general construction contracting company.
Dillard’s traces its history back to William Dillard’s establishment of a small store in Nashville, Arkansas in 1938. The store’s opening was funded through a $8,000 loan from William Dillard’s father, who operated his own store in Mineral Springs, Arkansas.
Despite the difficult years of the Second World War, Dillard’s expanded its Nashville operations, and in 1948 sold its flagship store. William Dillard subsequently acquired a controlling interest in a Texarkana store, and began focusing on the development of a high-end branded product portfolio. The Company’s expansion continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s, with the Company opening new branches in the region, including its first location in a mall.
Dillard’s continued to acquire additional locations until its spending slowed in the 1990s. Today, the Company operates a network of 297 department stores across the US, as well as more than 20 clearance centres and an online store. The Company is among the largest retail groups in the US, competing with other department store operators such as Nordstrom’s.
Dillard’s is placed 380th in the Fortune 500 list. It trades shares on the New York Stock Exchange and has a market capitalisation of $1.95 billion.
Benefits at Dillard’s
Business model of Dillard’s
Dillard’s serves a customer base that principally comprises general consumers. Dillard’s carries a broad range of branded clothing products, as well as high-end home furnishings and other products, targeted primarily at consumers in the upper and middle classes. In addition to its core chain of department stores, the Company also operates a number of clearance centres that provide off-season stock, targeting a lower income customer segment.
The Company’s typical customer has been identified in the press as older, middle to high income female consumers. The Company. However, has sought to attract a younger consumer base by focusing more on current fashion trends and closing down physical outlets in favour of moving much of its business online.
Dillard’s exclusively serves a domestic customer base across in the US. It does not appear to have any imminent plans to expand internationally.
Dillard’s provides value to its customers in the following ways:
- Its standing and association with quality, with the Company an established name in its industry associated with providing quality products and service, competing with other high-end department stores such as Nordstrom’s;
- Its broad catalogue of branded products, with the Company providing a broad range of high-end products to customers including apparel, cosmetics, accessories, home furnishings, and shoes;
- Its wide domestic reach, with the Company operating a number of 297 department stores across 29 states;
- Its accessibility, with the Company providing customers with self-service online and mobile sales and account management channels; and
- Its operation of clearance centres, with the Company providing a range of branded products at discounted prices through its network of clearance stores.
Dillard’s operates a website at www.dillards.com, through which it provides information on its products, distribution channels, and locations. This website also serves as an online sales portal, through which customers are able to purchase products across all of the Company’s products segments, arrange deliveries, and manage their accounts. Similar functionality is also available through the Company mobile app, which is available to iOS and Android users.
Dillard’s makes the majority of its sales through its chain of 297 department stores across the US, through which its customer service and retail staff provide services directly to customer. The Company also operates 24 clearance centres, through which it sells discounted products directly to customers, as well as its own distribution and fulfilment centres.
Dillard’s separately operates a website at www.cdicon.com, through which it provides information on its construction and contracting services. The Company operates a separate sales and marketing team for its CDI Contractors subsidiary.
Dillard’s operates self-service channels through its online store and mobile application, which allow customers to make purchases, organise deliveries and pickups, and track orders without interacting directly with members of the Company’s sales staff.
Dillard’s principally makes sales through its physical retail outlets, with its customer service and sales staff interacting with customers, providing advice on products, and handling customer queries in person. The Company provides a range of customer support services, including a returns and exchange program, with its customer service staff available in-store, over the phone, and via email.
Dillard’s provides a range of support resources on its website, including shipping and billing information, and FAQs. The Company also operates several social media accounts, including with Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, through which it is able to interact directly with customers.
The Company’s contracting subsidiary consults closely with clients in order to accurately fulfil project briefs. It operates primarily on a project-by-project basis, but seeks to establish lasting relationships and recurring business.
Dillard’s operates principally as a retailer of fashion apparel, cosmetics and home furnishing products. The Company’s core business is it retail operations.
The Company employs a multi-channel sales network, operating close to 300 department stores across the US, as well as more than 20 clearance centres. Dillard’s also operates an online sales channel, which offers a range of merchandise, including fashion apparel for women, men and children, accessories, cosmetics, home furnishings and other consumer goods.
The Company operates a second operating segment that comprises the construction activities of its subsidiary CDI Contractors. CDI Contractors’s business activities principally comprise the construction and remodeling of Dillard’s stores, but also includes projects for third parties.
Dillard’s collaborates with various companies and organisations in relation to the operation of its retail outlets. These partnerships include:
- Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of products, services, and tools that support the core operations of the Company, as well as vendors to which certain functions can be outsourced;
- Strategic and Alliance Partners, comprising a range of companies with which the Company shares resources and collaborates on joint projects;
- Social and Community Partners, comprising a range of charitable and non-profit organisations with which the Company cooperates on community projects; and
- Brand Partners, that provide certain branded products for sale exclusively in Dillard’s stores.
In 2014 Dillard’s launched a partnership with Wells Fargo to to fund, issue and service Dillard’s-branded private label and co-brand credit cards, and a tie-up with James Avery to display signature jewellery products in its department stores. The Company also has a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Dillard’s key resources are its catalogue of products, its physical network of retail outlets and clearance stores, its online and mobile platforms, its IT infrastructure, its distribution infrastructure, its partnerships, and its personnel.
Dillard’s owns or leases a number of properties that are key to its operations. This includes the Company’s 297 department stores and 24 clearance centres, as well as its logistics facilities which includes distribution centres, fulfilment centres, and warehouses.
Dillard’s incurs costs in relation to the purchase of stock and supplies, the operation of its physical retail outlets, the operation and development of its online and mobile channels, the maintenance of its IT infrastructure, the implementation of marketing and advertising campaigns, the operation of its logistics infrastructure, the management of its partnerships, and the retention of its personnel.
In 2015 Dillard’s accrued cost of sales – including the cost of merchandise sold and the operation of freight and distribution centres – in the amount of $4.35 billion. The Company’s selling, general and administrative expenses, including occupancy, warehousing, and corporate expenses, in the amount of $1.67 billion. This includes the payment of salaries and benefits to its employees.
Dillard’s generates revenue through the sale of various products through its network of department stores, clearance centres, and online and mobile channels. The Company focuses on the sale of products across the following product categories:
- Ladies’s Apparel;
- Ladies’s Accessories and Lingerie;
- Juniors’s and Children’s Apparel;
- Men’s Apparel and Accessories;
- Shoes; and
- Home and Furniture.
Dillard’s also generates some revenue through construction contracts completed by the Company’s CDI Contractors unit.
Dillards’s retail operations account for the vast majority of the Company’s revenue. In 2015 Dillard’s generated $6.60 billion in net sales, up on the $6.62 billion recorded by the Company in 2014. The Company’s ladies’s apparel product segment is its largest sales generator, accounting for 22% of total sales for the year. This was followed by the men’s apparel product segment, which accounted for 17%, and the ladies’s accessories and lingerie and shoes segments, which each accounted for 16% of net sales.
info: William, the eldest son of the Company’s founder, has served as Chairman at Dillard’s since 2006, and has been its Chief Executive Officer since 2002. He has served as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors since 1967. William has held a number of directorships outside of the family business, including at Acxiom China, Western Digital, and Barnes and Noble, as well as being a member of the National Advisory Board and Dallas Regional Advisory Board at JPMorgan Chase. William holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
info: Alex serves as President at Dillard’s. He serves on the Company’s Executive Committee, and has been a member of the Company’s Board of Directors since 1975. He also serves as a director at several other companies within the Dillard’s Group. Dillard has held a range of corporate appointments outside of Dillard’s, including spells as a board member at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Foundation Fund, Philander Smith College, Union Bank and Worthen Bank in Little Rock, and First National Bank of Fort Worth, Texas. He has served as a board member of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Foundation Fund, Philander Smith College, Union Bank and Worthen Bank in Little Rock and First National Bank of Ft. Worth, Texas. Mr. Dillard's understanding of both the merchandising and the operational aspects of the retail business has enabled the Board to more effectively gain a broad overview of the day-to-day processes involved in the operation of the Company.
info: Mike Dillard serves as Executive Vice President at Dillard’s and heads one of the largest merchandising portions of the Company's business. He has also served as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors since 1976. Mike Dillard has been with the family business for his entire career and does not appear to have any executive experience outside of the Company. He has, however, held a number of directorships both inside and outside of the Dillard’s Group, including a spell as a director of WD Company.
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