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Ross Stores Announces New Southern California Distribution Center

NEWARK, Calif., Apr 25, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --

Creates Network Designed to Support Growth and Improve Productivity

Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) announced today its plans for a new distribution center in Southern California. The new facility is an integral part of the company's long-term distribution network strategy to support future store growth and enhance the company's overall productivity.

In June 2002, the company expects to open a new 1.3 million square foot distribution center in Fort Mill in York County, South Carolina, which is just south of Charlotte, North Carolina. The company also recently began construction on another new 1.3 million square foot distribution center in Perris, California, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles. These two new distribution centers will share the same updated warehouse management systems and technology, which also will be retrofitted into the company's existing Carlisle, Pennsylvania distribution center. As a result, the company plans to move its primary West Coast distribution capabilities from the 18-year-old Newark, California distribution center to the new Perris center as soon as the new facility is fully operational, currently targeted for the third quarter of 2003.

In commenting on this news, Jim Peters, President and Chief Operating Officer, stated, "These supply chain, systems and infrastructure investments will create a solid platform for us to seize the numerous growth opportunities throughout the United States. By the end of 2005, we expect to be operating about 700 stores with sales approaching $5 billion, which represents increases of well over 50% in stores and sales, compared to 2001 totals."

Mr. Peters continued, "These three centers -- South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Southern California - are strategically located in terms of sourcing and shipping our products to our network of stores across the country. All three centers will also share new warehouse management systems and technology, which are expected to significantly improve distribution center productivity. As a result, over the next few years, we expect to realize a measurable improvement in two of our largest cost centers -- distribution and freight -- while also creating a distribution network that will support our growth initiatives over the next several years."

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains certain forward-looking statements which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from management's current expectations. The words "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors include a general deterioration in economic trends, ongoing competitive pressures in the apparel industry, obtaining acceptable store locations, the company's ability to continue to purchase attractive name-brand merchandise at desirable discounts, the company's ability to successfully open distribution centers in South Carolina and Southern California in a timely and cost-effective manner, the company's ability to successfully extend its geographic reach into new markets, unseasonable weather trends, changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences in apparel or home-related merchandise, the company's ability to attract and retain the retail talent necessary to execute its strategies, the company's ability to implement and integrate various new systems and technologies, and greater than planned costs. Other risk factors are detailed in the company's Form 10-K for fiscal 2001. The company does not undertake to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes indicate that any projected results expressed or implied herein will not be realized.

Ross Stores, Inc. reported sales of $3.0 billion in 2001, its most recent fiscal year. The off-price retailer operates 465 stores in 22 states, offering first-quality, in season, branded apparel, accessories and footwear for the entire family as well as gift items and linens for the home all at everyday savings of 20% to 60% less than regular department and specialty store prices.

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

John G. Call, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer,
or Katie Loughnot, Director, Investor Relations,
or, both of Ross Stores

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