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Ross Stores reports 4% growth in October sales
07
Nov '08
Ross Stores Inc. reported sales of $490 million for the four weeks ended November 1, 2008, a 4% increase over the $470 million in sales for the four weeks ended November 3, 2007. Same store sales for the four weeks ended November 1, 2008 declined 2% from the four weeks ended November 3, 2007.

For the thirteen weeks ended November 1, 2008, sales were $1.555 billion, a 6% increase over the $1.468 billion in sales for the thirteen weeks ended November 3, 2007. Comparable store sales for the thirteen weeks ended November 1, 2008 were even with the prior year period.

For the nine months ended November 1, 2008, sales were $4.752 billion, a 10% increase over the $4.324 billion in sales for the nine months ended November 3, 2007. Comparable store sales for the nine months ended November 1, 2008 rose 3% over the nine months ended November 3, 2007.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "October same store sales were slightly lower than expected, as we believe our business was impacted by unseasonably warm weather in many of our markets and the ongoing pressure from the challenging macro-economic environment.

The Mid-Atlantic, which benefited from cooler temperatures, remained our strongest region, while Dresses and Accessories were the best performing merchandise categories."

Mr. Balmuth continued, "We now estimate that earnings per share for the thirteen weeks ended November 1, 2008 will be in the range of $.43 to $.44, up from $.36 in the third quarter of 2007. The quarter is benefiting from favorable shortage results and other expense savings that are offsetting the impact to gross margin from somewhat lower-than-expected sales."

"Looking ahead, while we believe our resilient off-price model continues to hold up well in today's difficult macro-economic and retail climate, we remain cautious given the likelihood of a very promotional holiday season. We plan to provide detailed sales and earnings guidance for the fourth quarter with our third quarter earnings release and conference call on Wednesday, November 19th," concluded Mr. Balmuth.

Ross Stores Inc.

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