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Ross Stores Reports June Same Store Sales Gain of 5%

PLEASANTON, Calif., July 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $494 million for the five weeks ended July 1, 2006, a 12% increase above the $440 million in sales for the five weeks ended July 2, 2005. Comparable store sales for the month of June increased 5% on top of a 6% gain in the prior year.

For the five months ended July 1, 2006, sales were $2.202 billion, a 14% increase over the $1.934 billion in sales for the prior year's comparable period ended July 2, 2005. Comparable store sales for the five months grew 6% on top of a 5% gain in the prior year.

Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Balmuth said, "Same store sales in June continued to perform slightly ahead of our expectations, benefiting from broadbased geographic and merchandise trends. The strongest region remained the Southwest and the best performing merchandise departments were Shoes and Home."

Mr. Balmuth continued, "Looking ahead, we are maintaining our forecast for same store sales to increase 4% to 5% in July. With sales slightly above plan in May and June, we are now projecting second quarter earnings per share to be at the high end of our previously forecasted range of $.30 to $.32, despite some incremental markdown pressure in June."

Regarding the balance of the fiscal year, Mr. Balmuth said, "We remain cautiously optimistic about our prospects for sales and earnings gains in the second half, especially in light of our solid top line growth over the past several quarters. We plan to update, if necessary, our previously issued forecasted earnings per share ranges of $.27 to $.29 and $.60 to $.64 for the third and fourth quarters, respectively, on our second quarter conference call on August 16th. At that point, we should have better visibility into expected markdown activity and in-store inventory levels as we enter the fall season."

Additional recorded information concerning today's press release and the Company's future outlook for the second quarter and fiscal year can be accessed by calling 402-220-5900, PIN #2363, from 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on July 6, 2006 through 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on July 7, 2006. 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 July sales on Thursday, August 3, 2006.

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, growth plans and productivity initiatives 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 its various supply chain, core merchandising and other information systems; its ability to improve its micro-merchandising capabilities through the implementation of new processes and systems enhancements; achieving and maintaining targeted levels of productivity and efficiency in its 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 higher gas prices on consumer spending; 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; the Company's ability to continue to purchase attractive brand-name merchandise at desirable discounts; the Company's ability to identify and successfully enter new geographic markets; and the Company's ability to attract and retain personnel with the retail talent necessary to execute its strategies. Other risk factors are detailed in the Company's SEC filings including, without limitation, the Form 10-K for fiscal 2005 and the Form 10-Q's and 8-K's for fiscal 2006. 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 2005 revenues of $4.9 billion. As of July 1, 2006, the Company operated 726 Ross stores and 26 dd's DISCOUNTS locations, compared to 674 Ross stores and 13 dd's DISCOUNTS 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 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.

CONTACT: John G. Call, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer,
+1-925-965-4315, or
Katie Loughnot, Vice President, Investor Relations,
+1-925-965-4509, or