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Ross Stores Reports September Same Store Sales Up 7%

NEWARK, Calif., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $314 million for the five week period ended October 5, 2002, a 19% increase above the $263 million in sales for the five weeks ended October 6, 2001. Comparable store sales for the same period rose a strong 7% over the prior year.

For the eight months through October 5, 2002, sales were $2.289 billion, a 20% increase above the $1.900 billion in sales for the prior year's comparable period ended October 6, 2001. Comparable store sales for the eight months increased 9% over the prior year.

In commenting, Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are very pleased with our performance in September. Despite a continued difficult retail environment and unseasonably warm weather throughout many of our markets, we achieved our forecast of a 7 percent increase in same store sales for the month. Our business continues to benefit from an abundance of fresh and exciting bargains from a wide network of name brand vendors and manufacturers."

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 10, 2002 through 8:00 p.m. eastern time on October 11, 2002. 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 7, 2002.

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," "forecast," "believe" 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, financial 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 2001. 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 507 stores at October 5, 2002, compared to 452 stores at the end of the same period last year.

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

John G. Call
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Katie Loughnot
Vice President
Investor Relations
both of Ross Stores, Inc.