Ross Stores, the third-largest off-price retailer in the US, started as Ross Department Store in San Bruno, Calif.
- Headquarters: Pleasanton, Calif.
- Founding year: 1957
- Number of locations as of January 2011: 1,055
- Chains: Ross Dress for Less, dd’s Discounts
- FY 2010 net earnings: $7.9 billion
The format of the store wasn’t changed to an off-price format until 1982, 25 years after its founding. But as they say, it was better late than never as today the company has expanded its scope to not only include its Ross Dress For Less Chain, which is known for offering first-quality, in-season, name-brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions at savings of between 20% and 60%, but also dd’s Discounts, which offers products that are more moderately priced and offer savings of up to 70%.
The company’s Q1 2011 earnings increased 2% to $828 million for the five weeks ending April 2. Coupled with the 9% increase in fiscal 2010 sales, it appears Ross Stores is offering exactly what consumers want.
“We believe that the current record level of operating profitability we achieved in 2010 is sustainable, mainly due to our ongoing ability to offer customers desirable name-brand bargains while running our business with much lower inventory levels,” said Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO.
“Reducing the amount of merchandise in our stores has stimulated sales growth by increasing the freshness of our assortments. It has also been a key driver of record levels of merchandise gross margin, as faster inventory turns have resulted in much lower markdowns as a percent of sales. Going forward, we remain confident that our steadfast focus on diligently executing our off-price strategies will enable us to continue to deliver compelling bargains and achieve our targets for both sales and earnings growth in 2011 and beyond.”