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Ross Stores Reports September Sales

Transcript of September Sales Release Comments



NEWARK, Calif., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $225 million for the five week period ended September 30, 2000, a 2% increase above the $220 million in sales for the five weeks ended October 2, 1999. Comparable store sales for the same period declined 4% vs. an 8% increase in the prior year.

For the eight months through September 30, 2000, sales were $1.720 billion, a 9% increase above the $1.583 billion in sales for the prior year's comparable period ended October 2, 1999. Comparable store sales for the eight months increased 1% vs. a 7% increase in the prior year.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We believe that sales in September continued to be impacted primarily by a more difficult competitive climate compared to last year, especially from the department store sector. In response to this environment, we have been conducting an in-depth review of our business to identify opportunities for improved execution of our operating strategies. We also remain very liquid in our open to buy dollars, which helps to maintain lean in-store inventories and a fresh flow of merchandise through our stores, with the goal of improving sales and mitigating markdown pressures."

Additional recorded information concerning today's press release can be accessed by calling 719-457-0820, passcode #883427, from 8:30 a.m. EDT on October 5, 2000 through 8:00 p.m. EDT on October 6, 2000.

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" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors include obtaining acceptable new store locations, competitive pressures in the apparel industry, changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences in apparel or home-related merchandise, unseasonable weather trends, and greater than planned operating costs. Other risk factors are detailed in the company's Form 10-K for fiscal 1999. The company does not undertake to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes indicate that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.

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 392 stores at September 30, 2000, compared to 363 stores at the end of the same period last year. SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Ross Stores, Inc. press releases are available at no charge through the company's home page on the internet at

CONTACT: John G. Call, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, 510-505-4400, or Katie Loughnot, Director, Investor Relations, 510-505-4509, or, both of Ross Stores, Inc./