DDS most likely refers to Dillard's. For other possible associations, see DDS (disambiguation).
Dillard’s (NYSE:DDS) operates a chain of department stores across the U.S.Dillard's targets middle- and upper-class consumers with premium-priced branded and private label clothing, cosmetics, accessories and home goods.
Dillard's offers its own exclusive and private label brands alongside merchandise from branded manufacturers, which represents approximately a quarter of total sales. These brands can drive higher profit margins, so Dillard's is introducing new lines to grow the penetration of these private label products. Growing these brands is key to Dillard's competitiveness with its larger competitors, such as Macy's Inc. (M) and J.C. Penney (JCP). However, Dillard's lags behind larger and smaller competitors by the fact that all of the company's stores are located in malls whereas those of its competitors have several off-mall locations -- Dillard's risks losing market share as more consumers shift to shopping at off-mall locations.
Dillard's stores and e-commerce site carry a variety of clothing, accessories and home goods. The company's merchandise offerings include products from premium branded manufacturers, such as Guess? (GES) and Polo Ralph Lauren (RL), in addition to exclusive and private label brands that Dillard's wholly owns or co-owns with outside partners, such as the Roundtree & Yorke and Antonio Melani brands. Dillard's primary customers are women, typically in the middle- and upper-class.
Dillard's operates under six different business segments:
The company also has a small construction segment which accounts for 3% of net sales.
Department stores are increasingly seeking to distinguish themselves and earn higher profit margins by offering exclusive brands and private label brands. Exclusive brands are brands marketed under the wholesaler's name that are sold only in a particular chain; one exclusive brand at Dillard's is the Antonio Melani line that can only be purchased online or at Dillard's stores. Private label brands are produced by wholesalers, but sold under the brand name of the retailer. Exclusive brands such as Gianni Bini and Roundtree & Yourke, can help draw customers into Dillard's stores, as the products can only be found at Dillard's. Dillard's own private label products are typically priced lower than branded merchandise, but have a higher profit margin for Dillard's as the retailer is able to receive the good at a lower cost by avoiding branded manufacturers.
As Dillard's is far behind its competitors with regards to this trend, it is positioned to lose market share from its competitors as consumers continue to shop more often in off-mall locations, refraining from frequenting malls and subsequently avoiding Dillard's stores.
Since the 2000's began, consumers have shifted their shopping habits to strip-malls and shopping centers rather than traditional malls. Department stores are traditionally attached to malls, but have begun moving out into shopping centers and other "off-mall" locations to follow the changing customer's shopping patterns. Off-mall stores are cheaper to operate than traditional mall-based department stores, due to smaller real estate costs and less in-store employees, and offer consumers convenience by serving as a one stop shop. Dillard's is positioned to lose from this trend as none of their stores are in off-mall locations.
Dillard's is one of the smallest national department store retailers. It competes primarily against other department stores, but also is facing increasing competition from discounters and mass merchandisers like Target (TGT) and Wal-Mart (WMT) as these companies grow their clothing and home goods categories.