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Dillard's happy with home during 1Q

Little Rock, AR — Home was one of the star performers at Dillard's during the first quarter, ceo Bill Dillard said during the company's investor call this morning. Dillard's reported its second consecutive quarter of noticeable improvement, and gross margin in home improved during the first quarter by 200 basis points.

Dillard noted that the consolidation of home merchandising into one office, a process that began in September 2000, is complete and that the new home merchandising division in Arlington, TX, is now in full operation.

The home department also has stepped up the ratio of private label in its mix, Dillard said. It home brands — Noble Excellence, Nobility and Main Ingredients — now account for 27 percent of the mix vs. 17 percent in last year's first quarter.

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