mall and department store photography bordering on the obsessive.
I love the arch in the first photo. Is this a new building or a re-tooled one?
The slightly oversacale arch is a Dillard's signature and I believe this store opened as a Dillard's.
I only went to Dillards once about a decade ago in Ohio. Not very memorable for me. Although now I crave for a place that isn't Kohl's, Sears or Macy's, so I wish the Chicago area would hurry the hell up and get some. Illinois has a few scattered downstate locations too far away from me though.
Most of the Midwestern Dillard's stores started out as other retailers like Higbee's or McAlpin's. They are cool in their own right, but Dillard's ground up stores have a different feel. There aren't any Dillard's near me, but there are at least a dozen within a 3 hour drive of here. I tend to go at least ten or twelve times a year.
I was born in Ohio so i remember Higebee's well. Hell, I am bidding on a vintage hat on Ebay with the Higbee's tag on the inside right now. My family left Cleveland in 1989 and we came to Chicago and I went back once or twice in the early 90s and didn't visit Ohio again until the end of 1998. By then Higbee's became Dillards and May Co. used the Kaufmann's name. I was bummed. Myabe that's why I didn't warm up to Dillards much.
Higebee's was a tough act to follow, so Dillard's as a replacement might not have gone over well. The ones closest to me were formerly Ivey's stores, and Dillard's really had to make an effort to come up to the standard we were used to.
Like Ivey's Higbees had that upscale type image and you are right as far as I have heard and read it was a very tough act to follow. I think Dillards for a short time kept that Higbees downtown store, never renovated it and had it looking pretty shabby which didn't translate well.
Dillard's doesn't do downtown stores for some reason. It's a shame, because they certainly acquired a bunch of iconic locations that are now history because they never took the time to see if they could make them profitable.I never understood why retailers acquire whole chains of stores and close them all except for two or three, like Dillard's has done to Higbee's. There's only a handful of legacy stores left in Northeast Ohio.
If I could explain it any better than you can, I would. You are right is a shame. Closing all the iconic downtown locations doesn't make sense to me. If Dillards had done things right that could have properly restored the downtown Higbees store and if anything at least try to have made it profitable.
I knd of know why they didn't. Dillard's was able to push retail standardization into profitability for many years, and their most successful stores were the suburban locations, so that's what they focused on. Thing is, the retail world moved on from the '80s, but Dillard's still kept treading down the same old path. It's led to some financial trouble for them, and I have a feeling Wall Street will try to force a sale in a few years, which could lead to the shuttering of the chain if they're not careful.
Wow, I had no idea the chain was in that much trouble.
They're struggling for relevance like the other middle market chains, though one consider them a bit stodgier than Belk or Macy's.Dillard's will likely stay alive in family-controlled hands, but the investment community is bent on destroying the company's essence for higher return on investment.
Kind of like Lampert and Sears!
With Lampert and Sears, there's a lot more internal pressures than external. It's a house divided against itself. The chief internal investor (Lampert) seems the most bent on maximizing shareholder value, but he's also the stodgy merchant that only recently realized that lackluster stores and indifferent merchandise turn shoppers away. The two parts don't work with each other at all, and it's killing the company.Sad to say, I don't think I'd miss Dillard's if it was gone because they were pretty much the nail in the coffin for all the small town department stores that Macy's didn't kill. Still, they have been decent contemporary merchants, so that deserves some renown. Sears and Kmart are the reverse. Historically, they were some of the best the industry had to offer, but as contemporary merchants they're more interested in turning shoppers than getting them to buy.