Dillard's Has A Dilly Of A Headache

For most of the past decade, Dillard Department Stores Inc. could do no wrong. While retailers such as Federated Department Stores Inc. and Carter Hawley Hale Stores Inc. languished in bankruptcy, Dillard's well-honed strategies for merchandising, cost-control, and expansion led to robust growth. From 1983 to 1993, the Little Rock-based Dillard's rose to the nation's fifth-largest department-store chain as its store base more than tripled, to 227. Meanwhile, sales grew sixfold, to $5.1 billion, and profits grew even faster, to $241.1 million from $34.1 million.

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