Dillard’s Inc. (DDS), a large departmental store chain, yesterday reported a 9% year-over-year decline in total sales for the month of September, which amounted to $568 million.
Consolidated comparable store sales also declined 6% in contrast to last year. Sales were slightly above the average trend in the Eastern region, relatively in line with the Central region, and were way below the trend in the Western region.
Furthermore, the company’s sales performances in home and furniture segment and men’s segment were significantly below trend. However, sales in the shoes segment during the period were stronger than the normal trend.
The decline in sales and earnings is primarily due to macroeconomic headwinds leading to reduced consumer spending, and increased savings. In addition, consumers are holding off on new purchases and are trading down to cheaper alternatives or buying heavily discounted merchandise.
Fiscal 2009 year-to-date sales declined 14% to $3.7 billion, compared to $4.4 billion in the year-ago period. Year-to-date consolidated comparable store sales contracted 12% from the prior-year level.
Earlier, during the month of August, the company had reported a sales decline of 16% to $431 million while comparable store sales were down 12%.
During the second quarter of fiscal 2009, the company’s net loss narrowed to 36 cents per share compared to a loss of 51 cents in the prior-year quarter. Net sales for the quarter were down 11% to $1.43 billion versus $1.61 billion in the corresponding quarter a year ago.
During the second quarter, the company closed its Tullahoma, Tennessee location and identified 5 other locations for closure during fiscal 2009. The company remains committed to closing under-performing stores where needed.
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