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Christmas bells (sales) ring.

Christmas Bells (Sales) Ring

Now that the post-Thanksgiving race down your Christmas list has begun, Arkansas' retailing giants, Dillard's and Wal-Mart, are on our mind. Christmas is always the best time of year for these stores, but we're wondering how that translates to dollars.

Interestingly, while Wal-Mart sees a marked jump in their fourth quarter sales every year, it is not as crucial a season for them as for most of their peers.

Wal-Mart's fourth quarter compared to third quarter sales have risen 24, 31, and 30 percent in the last three years. Dillard's, however, has seen comparative fourth quarter increases of 45, 46, and 51 percent. Translation: Christmas is a more dangerous, make-or-break season for Dillard's. Other national retailers, like Sears and Montgomery Ward, walk this track as well.

William Dillard has said on more than one occasion, "If you don't have it, you can't sell it," and his Christmas inventory levels prove it. It's dangerous, but it's made for happy holidays before.

If the trends continue, Wal-Mart is looking at a projected fourth quarter of $10.3 billion and Dillard's $1.3 billion, both record quarters and the first ever for Dillard's over the billion mark.

Wal-Mart has been the country's top-selling store for the first nine months of 1990. However, a local broker says that Sears will come out on top for the year because of their historically strong Christmas business.
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Title Annotation:StockTalk
Author:Ford, Kelly
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Nov 26, 1990
Words:234
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