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Ross Stores Reports September Same Store Sales Up 5%

NEWARK, Calif., Oct 9, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $363 million for the five week period ended October 4, 2003, a 16% increase above the $314 million in sales for the five weeks ended October 5, 2002. Comparable store sales for the same period rose 5% on top of a 7% gain in the prior year.

For the eight months through October 4, 2003, sales were $2.523 billion, a 10% increase above the $2.289 billion in sales for the prior year's comparable period ended October 5, 2002. Comparable store sales for the eight months were flat versus a 9% gain in the prior year.

In commenting, Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Sales in September generated solid gains on top of strong increases in the prior year and in line with our expectations. We especially are pleased with the double-digit comparable store sales growth in the home categories during the month, which we believe bodes well for the holiday season. In addition, the back-to-school businesses of Juniors, Children's and Shoes all posted high single to double digit same store sales gains in September."

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 October 9, 2003 through 8:00 p.m. eastern time on October 10, 2003. A transcript of these comments also will be made available on the press release page of the Company's web site at The Company plans to report October sales on Thursday, November 6, 2003.

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 "plan," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "goal," "objective" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors include obtaining acceptable new store locations, competitive pressures in the apparel industry, changes in general economic conditions, changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences in apparel or home-related merchandise, the Company's ability to successfully implement various new supply chain and merchandising systems in a timely and cost effective manner, unseasonable weather trends, and greater than planned operating costs. Other risk factors are detailed in the Company's Form 10-K for fiscal 2002. 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 571 stores at October 4, 2003, compared to 507 stores at the end of the same period last year.

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

John G. Call, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer,
+1-510-505-4509, or Katie Loughnot, Vice President, Investor Relations,
+1-510-505-4400, or, both of Ross Stores, Inc.