US department store chain Dillard’s has reported that its retail sales declined 6% to $1.409bn in the third quarter (Q3) of fiscal year (FY) 2023, compared with $1.49bn in FY22.

The company’s Q3 net sales, which includes its construction business, CDI Contractors, were $1.47bn. Sales in comparable stores also decreased by 6%.

During the 13 weeks ended 28 October 2023, the net income of Dillard’s was $155.3m, down from $187.9m in Q3 FY22.

Its earnings per share (EPS) were $9.49 in Q3 FY23 against $10.96 in the prior year quarter.

Retail gross margin for Q3 FY23 was 45.3% of sales compared to 45.7% of sales a year ago and its consolidated gross margin was 43.5% of sales in the quarter.

Dillard’s chief executive officer William Dillard II said: “The sales environment remained challenging in the third quarter with particular weakness beginning in September.

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“Our focus on producing profitable sales with inventory control paid off – with retail gross margin of 45.3% and inventory down 1% year over year. We repurchased $48m of stock and had $893m of cash and short-term investments remaining.”

For the year-to-date, Dillard’s net income was $488.3m, down from $602.5m in the same period last year.

Its EPS were $29.38 during the 39-week period compared to $34.05 a year ago.

The company’s total retail and comparable store sales during the period decreased by 5% and 4%, respectively.

As of the end of the quarter, Dillard’s operated 273 stores, including 27 clearance centres in 29 states.