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Ross Stores Reports November Same Store Sales Gain of 8%

PLEASANTON, Calif., Dec 03, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported that sales for the four weeks ended November 28, 2009 increased 12% to $635 million from $568 million for the four weeks ended November 29, 2008. Same store sales for the month rose 8%.

For the ten months ended November 28, 2009, sales totaled $5.839 billion, up 10% over the $5.320 billion in sales for the ten months ended November 29, 2008. Comparable store sales for the ten months ended November 28, 2009 increased 5% on top of a 2% gain in the same period last year.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "November sales outperformed our expectations as business strengthened in the second half of the month. Shoes, Dresses and Home continued to be the strongest merchandise categories while the Southwest and Northwest were the top performing regions."

Looking ahead, Mr. Balmuth continued, "While we are pleased with our healthy start to the holiday season, most of the pre-Christmas shopping period is still ahead of us. As a result, we believe it is prudent to maintain our current forecast for comparable store sales gains of 6%-7% in December and 4%-5% in January. Based on these targets and our ahead-of-plan sales in November, we now project that earnings per share for the fourth quarter ending January 30, 2010 will be at the high end to slightly better than our previous guidance range of $.88-$.94."

Additional recorded information concerning today's press release and the Company's future outlook can be accessed by calling 706-645-9291, PIN # 44612833 from 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on December 3, 2009 through 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on December 4, 2009. A transcript of these comments will also be available in the Investors section of the Company's website at

The Company expects to report December 2009 sales results on Thursday, January 7, 2010.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release and the recorded comments and transcript on our corporate website contain forward-looking statements regarding expected sales and earnings levels in future periods that are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause our actual results to differ materially from management's current expectations. The words "plan," "expect," "target," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "forecast," "projected," "guidance," "looking ahead" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors for Ross Dress for Less(R) ("Ross") and dd's DISCOUNTS(R) include without limitation, competitive pressures in the apparel or home-related merchandise industry; changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences for apparel or home-related merchandise, including the potential impact from uncertainty in financial and credit markets and the severity and duration of the current recession; 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; our ability to continue to purchase attractive brand-name merchandise at desirable discounts; our ability to attract and retain personnel with the retail talent necessary to execute our strategies; our ability to effectively operate our various supply chain, core merchandising and other information systems; our ability to improve our merchandising capabilities through the development and implementation of new processes and systems enhancements; achieving and maintaining targeted levels of productivity and efficiency in our distribution centers; and obtaining acceptable new store locations. Other risk factors are detailed in our SEC filings including, without limitation, the Form 10-K for fiscal 2008 and Form 10-Qs and 8-Ks for fiscal 2009. 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 our outlook at any other point in time. We do 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 retailer with fiscal 2008 revenues of $6.5 billion. As of November 28, 2009 the Company operated 955 Ross Dress for Less(R) ("Ross") stores and 53 dd's DISCOUNTS(R) locations, compared to 908 Ross and 57 dd's DISCOUNTS locations at the end of the same period last year. Ross 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 at

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

John Call
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Bobbi Chaville
Senior Director, Investor Relations
both of Ross Stores, Inc.