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Ross Stores Reports July Sales and Estimated Second Quarter EPS

NEWARK, Calif., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $236 million for the four week period ended August 4, 2001, a 16% increase above the $203 million in sales reported for the four weeks ended August 5, 2000. Comparable store sales for the same period increased 5% over the prior year.

For the 13 weeks ended August 4, 2001, sales were $725 million, a 10% increase from the $658 million in sales reported for the 13 weeks ended August 5, 2000. Comparable store sales for the second quarter increased 1% over the prior year.

For the six months ended August 4, 2001, sales totaled $1.399 billion, up 7% from the $1.306 billion in sales for the six months ended August 5, 2000. Comparable store sales for the first six months of 2001 declined 1% from the prior year.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "We are very pleased with the solid improvement in sales trends we realized in July despite the continued difficult economic and competitive environment. Our stronger than planned business benefited from healthy sales of full-priced fall season merchandise combined with better than expected grand opening business in the 13 new stores we opened in June and July. We hope these results are an indication that customers are beginning to respond to our efforts to strengthen our merchandise offerings. Over the past several months, we have increased the levels of nationally-recognized name brand product, created a more balanced mix of ladies career vs. casual apparel, and added more diversity in our home assortments. As a result of the higher than planned sales and gross margin in July, we now expect earnings per share for the second quarter of 2001 to be in the range of $.43 to $.44, compared to our prior guidance of $.39 to $.40. The company reported $.43 in earnings per share for the second quarter of 2000."

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 August 9, 2001 through 8:00 p.m. eastern time on August 10, 2001. A transcript of these comments also will be made available on the press release page of the company's web site at

Ross Stores will report final results for the second quarter ended August 4, 2001 on Wednesday, August 22, 2001. The earnings press release will be issued at approximately 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). A conference call is scheduled to follow on the same date at 11:00 a.m. EDT to communicate additional details concerning the quarter's results and management's future outlook. Anyone may listen to a real time audio broadcast of the conference call by calling 973-321-1030 or 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 second quarter ending August 4, 2001 are preliminary and subject to adjustments. Risk factors include obtaining acceptable new store locations, competitive pressures in the apparel industry, changes in economic conditions, changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences in apparel or home-related merchandise, the availability of dependable energy resources at reasonable costs, unseasonable weather trends, and greater than planned operating costs. Other risk factors are detailed in the company's Form 10-K for fiscal 2000. 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 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 431 stores at August 4, 2001, compared to 392 stores at the end of the same period last year.

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

CONTACT: John G. Call, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, +1-510-505-4315, or Katie Loughnot, Director, Investor Relations, +1-510-505-4509, or, both of Ross Stores, Inc./