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Ross Stores Reports December Same Store Sales Gain of 3%, Raises Fourth Quarter EPS Guidance

PLEASANTON, Calif., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $755 million for the five weeks ended January 5, 2008, a 12% increase over the $677 million in sales for the five weeks ended January 6, 2007. Same store sales for the five weeks ended January 5, 2008 increased 3% over the five weeks ended January 6, 2007.

For the eleven months ended January 5, 2008, sales were $5.625 billion, a 9% increase over the $5.164 billion in sales for the eleven months ended January 6, 2007. Comparable store sales for the eleven months ended January 5, 2008 rose 1% over the eleven months ended January 6, 2007.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased with our solid performance during the important holiday period. Despite the competitive climate, customers responded favorably to the wide array of attractive and compelling bargains throughout our stores, driving better-than-expected sales and gross margin for the month. The strongest regions in December were the Northwest and Texas, while California same store sales increased a solid 3%, in line with the total company. Outerwear, Dresses and Shoes were the top performing businesses."

Looking ahead, Mr. Balmuth said, "Based on favorable sales and margin trends quarter-to-date, we are now forecasting earnings per share for the 13 weeks ending February 2, 2008 to be $.68 to $.69, compared to our previous guidance of $.62 to $.68. Prior year earnings per share for the 14 weeks ended February 3, 2007 were $.66, which included income equivalent to about $.07 per share related to the 53rd week in fiscal 2006. Our updated 2007 fourth quarter forecast also assumes that January same store sales are up 1% to 3%, in line with our prior guidance."

Additional recorded information concerning today's press release and the Company's future outlook can be accessed by calling 706-645-9291, ID #30620030, from 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on January 10, 2008 through 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on January 11, 2008. A transcript of these comments is available on the Company's website at The Company expects to report January 2008 sales results on Thursday, February 7th.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release and the recorded comments and transcript on our website contain forward-looking statements regarding expected sales and earnings levels that are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause our 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 Dress for Less(R) ("Ross") and dd's DISCOUNTS(R) include, without limitation, our ability to convert certain Albertsons LLC real estate sites to the Ross and dd's DISCOUNTS formats in a timely and cost effective manner and on acceptable terms, and the ability to achieve targeted levels of sales, profits and cash flows from these acquired store locations; our ability to effectively operate our various supply chain, core merchandising and other information systems; our ability to improve our merchandising capabilities through the implementation of new processes and systems enhancements; achieving and maintaining targeted levels of productivity and efficiency in our distribution centers; potential pressure on freight costs from higher-than-expected fuel surcharges; 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, including the potential impact from uncertainty in mortgage credit markets and higher gas prices; 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; greater than planned operating costs; our ability to continue to purchase attractive brand-name merchandise at desirable discounts; our ability to identify and successfully enter new geographic markets; and our ability to attract and retain personnel with the retail talent necessary to execute our strategies. Other risk factors are detailed in our SEC filings including, without limitation, the Form 10-K for fiscal 2006 and Form 10-Q's and 8-K's for fiscal 2007. 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 our outlook at any other point in time. We do not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements.

Ross Stores, Inc., a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Pleasanton, California, is the nation's second largest off-price company with fiscal 2006 revenues of $5.6 billion. As of January 5, 2008, the Company operated 841 Ross Dress for Less(R) ("Ross") stores and 52 dd's DISCOUNTS(R) locations, compared to 772 Ross and 26 dd's DISCOUNTS locations at the end of the same period last year. Ross 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 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 at

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