Dillard’s to Close at Southern Park Mall

BOARDMAN, Ohio — On Wednesday, Dillard’s Inc. announced that the store at the Southern Park Mall will be closed in 90 days.

A release by the Arizona-based corporation confirmed the store is expected to close no later than May 14. Including the Southern Park Mall store, Dillard’s operates 14 locations in Ohio.

Store associates learned of the closure this morning during a staff meeting. The Boardman store employs 120 full- and part-time associates, according to a corporate representative.

This is the second anchor store at the mall to close in less than a year. In April 2018, Sears Holdings Corp. confirmed it would be closing the Sears store there. In August 2016, the Dillard’s store at Eastwood Mall in Niles converted to a clearance center. Joe Bell, director of corporate communications for Cafaro Co., confirmed that store will not be affected by Wednesday’s announcement.

“Dillard’s is thrilled with the Eastwood location and it made a determination that Eastwood has become the focal point of retail for the area, so they concentrated their efforts on our store,” Bell said. “They see strong growth there.”

The Sears store there also closed after Sears Holdings Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year. Cafaro has been in “discussions with multiple entities” about the vacant space, but has no word yet on a new tenant, Bell said.

“It’s going to take a while to determine the best fit there, but we’re going to get that done as soon as possible,” he said.

Dillard’s reported net income for the 13 weeks ended Nov. 3 of $7.4 million, or 27 cents per share, compared to net income of $14.5 million, or 50 cents per share, for the prior year third quarter. Included in net income for the 13-week period ended Nov. 30 is $2.9 million in tax benefits related to additional federal tax credits and an update of the provisional amounts recorded for the income tax effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

“While we are encouraged by our 3% comparable sales performance, this was a disappointing quarter as markdowns weighed heavily on gross margin, particularly in the first month,” said the CEO of Dillard’s, William T. Dillard, in a prepared statement. “However, operating performance improved as the quarter progressed and sales turned positive. We also invested $54 million in share repurchases during the quarter.”

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