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Ross Stores Reports March Same Store Sales

PLEASANTON, Calif., April 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $456 million for the five weeks ended April 2, 2005, a 13% increase above the $404 million in sales for the five weeks ended April 3, 2004. Comparable store sales for the month rose 3% on top of a 7% gain in the prior year.

For the nine weeks ended April 2, 2005, sales totaled $767 million, a 14% increase above the $670 million in sales for the nine weeks ended April 3, 2004. Comparable store sales for the nine weeks ended April 2, 2005 grew 4% on top of a 4% increase in the prior year.

In commenting, Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "March sales performed slightly ahead of our expectations, benefiting from solid sales of fresh spring receipts. However, as noted on our March 16th conference call, gross margin is being pressured by higher markdowns needed to clear out residual clearance merchandise from 2004. As a result, we continue to maintain our prior earnings per share forecast for the 13 weeks ending April 30, 2005 of $.33 to $.36. This forecast also assumes April same store sales perform in line with our current plan for a 2% to 3% increase on top of a 2% gain in the prior year."

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 April 7, 2005 through 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on April 8, 2005. A transcript of these comments also will be made available on the press release page of the Company's website at

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release and the recorded comments and transcript on the Company's website contain forward-looking statements regarding planned new store growth and expected sales and earnings levels and forward-looking statements concerning the Company's distribution centers and information systems, all of 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 "plan," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "forecast," "project," "guidance," "looking ahead" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors for Ross Stores and dd's DISCOUNTS(SM) include, without limitation, the Company's ability to effectively operate and integrate various new supply chain and core merchandising systems, including generation of all necessary information in a timely and cost effective manner; migrating the Company's data center from Newark, California to Pleasanton, California in the first half of 2005 without unexpected delays or interruption in system availability; achieving and maintaining targeted levels of productivity and efficiency in its distribution centers; 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; changes in geopolitical and general economic conditions; unseasonable weather trends; disruptions in supply chain; lower than planned gross margin and greater than planned operating costs. Other risk factors are detailed in the Company's Form 10-K for fiscal 2003. 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 2004 revenues of $4.2 billion. As of April 2, 2005, the Company operated 658 Ross stores and ten dd's DISCOUNTS(SM) stores, compared to 593 Ross 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(SM) features a more moderate 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, both of Ross Stores, Inc.
Web site: