It was a strong quarter for sales for mall merchandiser Dillard’s, Inc. The Little Rock-based department store chain reported first quarter sales of $1.46 billion compared to last year’s first quarter sales of $1.43 billion.
The 2% increase in quarterly sales was boosted by a strong month in April. After February and March comparable sales declined by about 1%, April sales were up nearly 10% versus last year.
Dillard’s said that same store sales, a key metric for the retail industry, increased 11% during April and 2% during the quarter.
"Easter Sunday occurred the first day of the April fiscal month last year and occurred the fourth Sunday in April this year. Because of this calendar shift, 2011 April sales results were positively impacted by Easter shopping activity moving from March to April. Sales for the combined March and April nine-week period increased 4% on both a total and comparable store basis," the company noted.
Quarterly sales offer a more accurate picture of retail sales health than volatile month-to-month reporting. Most retail chains operate on a February-January fiscal year to account for holiday shopping at the calendar year’s end. For purposes of this report, Dillard’s first quarter sales are reflected in the February-April numbers.