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Ross Stores Reports August Sales

PLEASANTON, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $388 million for the four week period ended August 27, 2005, up 24% from the $312 million in sales for the four weeks ended August 28, 2004. Comparable store sales for the same period increased 13% versus an 8% decline in the prior year.

For the seven month year-to-date period ended August 27, 2005, sales rose to $2.684 billion, a 16% increase from the $2.313 billion in sales in the prior year's comparable period ended August 28, 2004. Comparable store sales for the same period grew 6%.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Same store sales in August were better than expected, benefiting from continued strength in the back-to-school businesses of Juniors and Shoes. The best performing markets during the month were Florida and the Southwest. We are also pleased that most of the higher-than-planned business during August was driven by full-margin sales, as markdowns were in line with expectations."

"Looking ahead, we are optimistic about meeting our current forecasts for comparable store sales gains of 6% to 7% and 3% to 4%, respectively, in September and October," Mr. Balmuth said. "However, we also are conducting an annual chain-wide physical inventory in all stores during the third quarter, the first such inventory since September 2004. Considering the system and distribution issues we have experienced during the last year, we believe it is prudent to defer any updates to our earnings guidance until this inventory is complete and results become available at the end of the quarter."

Additional recorded information concerning today's press release and the Company's future outlook can be accessed by calling 402-220-5900, PIN #2363, from 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on September 1, 2005 through 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on September 2, 2005. A transcript of these comments also will be made available on the press release page of the Company's website at The Company expects to report sales results for the five weeks ending October 1, 2005 on Thursday, October 6th.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release and the recorded comments and transcript on the Company's website contain forward-looking statements regarding expected sales and earnings levels that are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from management's current expectations. The words "plan," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "forecast," "projected," "guidance," "looking ahead" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors for Ross Stores and dd's DISCOUNTS(R) include, without limitation, the Company's ability to effectively operate and integrate various new supply chain and core merchandising systems, including generation of all necessary information in a timely and cost effective manner; achieving and maintaining targeted levels of productivity and efficiency in its distribution centers; obtaining acceptable new store locations; competitive pressures in the apparel industry; changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences for apparel or home-related merchandise; changes in geopolitical and general economic conditions; unseasonable weather trends; disruptions in supply chain; lower than planned gross margin, including higher than planned markdowns and higher than expected inventory shortage; and greater than planned operating costs. Other risk factors are detailed in the Company's SEC filings, including without limitation the Form 10-K for fiscal 2004 and the Form 10-Q's and Form 8-K's for fiscal 2005. 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., a Fortune 500 and Nasdaq 100 (ROST) company headquartered in Pleasanton, California, is the nation's second largest off- price company with fiscal 2004 revenues of $4.2 billion. As of August 27, 2005, the Company operated 692 Ross stores and 19 dd's DISCOUNTS(R) locations, compared to 622 Ross stores and 5 dd's DISCOUNTS(R) locations at the end of the same period last year. Ross Stores offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 60 percent off department and specialty store regular prices. dd's DISCOUNTS(R) features a more moderately- priced assortment of first-quality, in-season, name brand apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 70 percent off moderate department and discount store regular prices. Additional information is available on the Company's website at

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

John G. Call
Senior Vice President
Chief Financial Officer
+1-925-965-4315, or
Katie Loughnot
Vice President
Investor Relations
both of Ross Stores, Inc.