Two New York-based investment firms, Barington Capital Group and Clinton Group, on Tuesday revealed they own over 5.3 percent of Dillard’s Inc. shares, and sent a letter to the retailer’s board outlining recommendations for operational and strategic improvements.

The letter said specifically, “Given the company’s poor share price performance over the past six months, we are convinced that Dillard’s is an undervalued asset with tremendous opportunity for improvement….[and as] you know, Barington has attempted to reach out to you and William T. Dillard 2nd, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, several times over the past six months to discuss measures to improve shareholder value,” the letter said. “Unfortunately, it appears to us that you have not only ignored our letters but have also done little to improve the company on your own initiative, as Dillard’s financial results have gone from bad to worse since our initial communication in June 2007.”

The letter also said that as significant shareholders, the two firms are “committed to taking all actions necessary to enhance shareholder value.”

Dillard’s is based in Little Rock, Ark. Barington Capital and Clinton reported their ownership of Dillard’s Class A common stock in a Schedule 13-D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For complete coverage, see Wednesday’s WWD.

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