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Ross Stores Reports April Sales and Estimated First Quarter EPS

NEWARK, Calif., May 9, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST) today reported sales of $264 million for the four weeks ended May 4, 2002, a 19% increase above the $221 million in sales for the four weeks ended May 5, 2001. Comparable store sales for the month rose 8% over the prior year period.

For the 13 weeks ended May 4, 2002, sales totaled $820 million, a 22% increase above the $674 million in sales for the 13 weeks ended May 5, 2001. Comparable store sales for the 13 weeks ended May 4, 2002 grew 10% over the prior year period.

In commenting on business, Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are very pleased with the solid same store sales gains we achieved in April despite the negative effect of Easter moving from April last year into March this year. Business continues to benefit from an improved flow of fresh and exciting name brand fashions for the family and the home at compelling discounts. Based on these results, earnings per share for the first quarter of 2002 now are forecasted to increase 37% to $.59 a share, compared to $.43 per share for the first quarter of 2001. As a result, our annual earnings per share projection for fiscal 2002 is moving to $2.31, a 21% increase above the $1.91 we reported in 2001."

Additional recorded information concerning today's press release and the company's future outlook for the second quarter and fiscal year can be accessed by calling 402-220-5900, PIN #2363, from 8:30 a.m. eastern time on May 9, 2002 through 8:00 p.m. eastern time on May 10, 2002. A transcript of these comments also will be made available on the press release page of the company's web site at

The company will report final results for the first quarter ended May 4, 2002 on Wednesday, May 22, 2002. The press release will be issued at approximately 8:30 a.m. eastern time. A conference call is scheduled to follow on the same date at 11:00 a.m. eastern time to communicate additional details concerning the quarter's results and management's future outlook. Anyone may listen to a real time audio webcast of the conference call by visiting the company's web site at A recorded version of the call will also be available at the same location.

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," "forecast," "projected" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. The estimated earnings per share for the first quarter ending May 4, 2002 are preliminary and subject to adjustments. Risk factors include obtaining acceptable new store locations, competitive pressures in the apparel industry, changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences in apparel or home-related merchandise, unseasonable weather trends, and greater than planned operating costs. Other risk factors are detailed in the company's Form 10-K for fiscal 2001. The factors underlying our forecasts are dynamic and subject to change. As a result, our forecasts speak only as of the date they are given and do not necessarily reflect the company's outlook at any other point in time. The company does not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements.

Ross Stores, Inc. operates a national chain of off-price retail stores offering first quality, in-season, branded apparel and apparel-related merchandise for the entire family at prices that average 20% to 60% less than department and specialty stores, as well as merchandise for the home at similar savings. The company had 470 stores in operation at May 4, 2002, compared to 419 stores at the end of the same period last year.

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

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

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