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Ross Stores Reports February Sales

NEWARK, Calif., Mar 6, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $243 million for the four weeks ended March 1, 2003, a 7% increase above the $227 million for the four weeks ended March 2, 2002. Comparable store sales for the four week period fell 3% compared to a 13% increase in same store sales in the prior year period.

In commenting, Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "Same store sales in February were slightly below the low end of our expectations. A large percentage of our store base was negatively impacted by severe winter weather during the month, including the mid-Atlantic, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and the mountain states. In addition, several stores in many of these regions were closed for a period of time due to weather. As a result, early spring apparel sales underperformed our expectations."

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 March 6, 2003 through 8:00 p.m. eastern time on March 7, 2003. A transcript of these comments also will be made available on the press release page of the company's web site at

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 520 stores at March 1, 2003, compared to 463 stores at March 2, 2002.

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

John Call, Senior Vice President
Chief Financial Officer
or Katie Loughnot
Vice President Investor Relations

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