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Ross opens 29 stores in 2 months


Dive Brief:


Ross opened 29 new store locations in June and July, according to a company press release. 


Those openings include 21 Ross Dress for Less and eight DD’s Discounts stores in 12 different states as part of the retailer’s plans to add about 100 stores in 2022. 


Over the summer, the company expanded its presence in its largest markets of California, Florida and Texas and added locations “in newer states” like North Carolina and Ohio, according to Gregg McGillis, the group executive vice president of property development. 


Dive Insight:


Ross is on track to open 100 stores in 2022. 


That number contributes to the retailer’s overarching goal of growing to at least 2,900 Ross Dress for Less stores and 700 DD’s Discounts locations over time. 


“These recent openings reflect our ongoing commitment to expanding our two chains,” McGillis said in a statement.


Expansion plans are continuing, even as the retailer acknowledged in its latest earnings that fiscal 2022 was going to be difficult to forecast. The company reported that net sales for its first quarter fell 4.1%, with comps down 7%. Net earnings dropped 29%. 


“We are disappointed with our lower-than-expected first quarter results,” Barbara Rentler, CEO, said in a statement at the time. “We knew fiscal 2022 would be a difficult year to predict, especially the first half when we were facing last year’s record levels of government stimulus and significant customer pent-up demand as COVID restrictions eased. The external environment has also proven extremely challenging as the Russia-Ukraine conflict has exacerbated inflationary pressures on the consumer not seen in 40 years.”


Rival TJX fared better in the quarter, with sales at the company rising 13% to $11.4 billion, though it still missed expectations. 


“There is a clear distinction between Ross and TJX customers,” BMO Capital Markets Managing Director Simeon Siegel said at the time. “Although Ross sells cheap clothing, TJX sells ‘expensive’ clothing cheap. Additionally, lower income shopper pressure disproportionately impacts Ross.”


Ross opened nearly the same amount of locations — 30 — in June and July of last year. Yet, the off-price retailer still does not sport an e-commerce presence. The company increased its long-term store objective in 2018, when it set a goal of 3,000, with plans for new stores in both existing and new markets. 

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