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Home Segment Sours at Dillard's

Department store operator Dillard's, Inc. registered its worst 2008 merchandise category decline in its home segment, the retailer reported.

Dillard's broke out its major category proportions in its 10-K annual report filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission last week. Of total net retail sales for fiscal 2008 of $6.74 billion, the "home and furniture" area dwindled to 7% of sales, down from 8% in 2007.

The company also showed that retail volume in the home and furniture group had fallen by 12.0% from 2007 to 2008, which followed a decline of 10.3% in 2007 and a drop of 8.9% in 2006.

The other main area of merchandise in similar straits is "juniors' and children's apparel," which tracked downward by 11.6% in 2008, 10.6% in '07, and 9.2% in '06.

The remaining four main areas all had less severe — but still consistently negative — single-digit declines in recent years. Those four groups are: cosmetics; ladies' apparel and accessories; men's apparel and accessories; and shoes.