His late father was William T. Dillard (1914 – 2002), founder of Dillard's. He graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Business Administration and later received an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
He joined the Board of Directors of Dillard's in 1967. In 1977, he became President and Chief Operating Officer. He joined the Board of Acxiom, a marketing technology and services company, in 1988, and has served as its Vice Chairman since May 6, 2006. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Dillard's since May 1998 and Chairman of the Board since May 2002.
He serves on the Board of Directors of Acxiom China since 1988, Barnes Noble since November 1993, the National Advisory Board and Dallas Region Advisory Board of JPMorgan Chase, Western Digital, one of the world's largest hard disk drive manufacturers, Dillards Capital Trust I, Dillard's Properties.
Dillard's, Inc. is a mid-range department store chain in the United States, with 330 stores in 28 states. Headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, Dillard's locations are concentrated in Texas and Florida; with a major presence in other states including Arizona, Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, North Carolina, Virginia, Idaho, South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. Dillard's also maintains a minor footprint in California and Montana. Its main competitors are JCPenney, Macy's, Sears, and Bon-Ton, and regional nameplate stores such as Belk, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus, Sak's Fifth Avenue, Younkers, and Von Maur.