Dillard’s cutting prices not stores, company says

tgrubb@newsobserver.comOctober 13, 2013 

— University Mall isn’t losing its Dillard’s store, but customers will find much better deals, a company spokeswoman said.

While rumored in the last few weeks to be closing, spokeswoman Julie Bull said the store is actually being remade into a Dillard’s Clearance Center. No jobs are being cut, she said.

“It’s not uncommon to have a clearance center. We’ve been operating that way for a number of years,” she said. “There will be some pretty compelling buys.”

Dillard’s has 18 clearance centers nationwide that receive the previous season’s merchandise from other regional stores and sell it at deep discounts. A local Dillard’s manager said prices are cut roughly 60 percent, plus additional in-store savings.

He declined to talk about the change to a clearance center, but said customers will see checkouts closer to the exits and merchandise piled in bins.

Bull said a store’s location and performance are taken into account when deciding to make the switch to a clearance center and when deciding whether to close.

The company does not publicize its clearance centers, but there are stores in High Point and Asheville. Stores in Greensboro and Charlotte were closed – in 1999 and 2009, respectively – just a few years after becoming clearance centers. The malls in which they were located also declined and closed.

Dillard’s owns most of its stores nationwide. According to a 2012 shareholder report, the company only leases two N.C. locations. Those properties were not listed.

Other clearance centers have been open for years. In 2011, High Point University bought Oak Hollow Mall with plans to redevelop it. The school could not reach an agreement with Dillard’s for its store.

Grubb: 919-932-8746

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