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Ross Stores Reports July Sales and Estimated Second Quarter Results

NEWARK, Calif., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $188 million for the four week period ended July 31, 1999, a 14% increase above the $165 million in sales for the four weeks ended August 1, 1998. Comparable store sales for the same period increased 7% over the prior year.

For the 13 weeks ended July 31, 1999, sales were $615 million, a 15% increase above the $537 million in sales for the 13 weeks ended August 1, 1998. Comparable store sales for the second quarter increased 7% over the prior year.

For the six months ended July 31, 1999, sales totaled $1.165 billion, a 14% increase above the $1.021 billion in sales for the six months ended August 1, 1998. Comparable store sales for the first six months of 1999 increased 7% over the prior year.

In commenting, Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased with the solid gains in sales we realized for the second quarter and first six months. Our performance indicates that our value-driven strategies remain on track. As a result, we now expect earnings per share to reach record levels of $.81 to $.83 for the 13 weeks ended July 31, 1999, an increase of 21% to 24% over the $.67 in earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended August 1, 1998." The company's second quarter results will be reported on Wednesday, August 18, 1999.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains certain forward-looking statements which reflect the company's current beliefs and estimates with respect to future events and the company's future financial performance, operations and competitive strengths. The words "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from management's current expectations. These factors include competitive pressures in the apparel industry, changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences in apparel or home-related merchandise, obtaining acceptable store locations, the company's ability to continue to purchase attractive name brand merchandise at desirable discounts, unseasonable weather trends, and higher than planned operating costs, including those that could be related to necessary modifications to the company's computer hardware and software systems to enable them to process information with dates or date ranges spanning the year 2000 and beyond. The company presently believes that, with modifications to existing software and conversions to new software, the year 2000 issue will not pose significant operational problems for the company's computer systems as so modified and converted. However, if unforeseen difficulties arise or such modifications and conversions are not completed timely, or if the company's vendors' or suppliers' systems are not modified to become year 2000 compliant, then the year 2000 issue may have a material impact on the operations and financial condition of the company. Other risk factors are detailed in the company's Form 10-K for fiscal 1998.

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 363 stores at July 31, 1999, compared to 339 stores at the end of the same period last year.

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.