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Ross CEO Cites Late Tax Return In Comp Decline

Today, Ross Stores, Inc. reported that sales increased 3% to $726 million for the four weeks ended March 2 versus the four weeks ended March 3, 2012. Comparable store sales declined 1% year over year.

Juniors and accessories were the top performing product segments in the month, the company said in a conference call.

“We believe the slight decline in February same store sales was mainly due to the delay in income tax refunds,” Michael Balmuth, Ross vice chairman and CEO, noted in comments on the company’s financial results. “With sales improving as the month progressed, we continue to forecast same store sales in March and April to be down 1% to 2% and up 5% to 6%, respectively. This monthly guidance reflects the shift in the Easter holiday and is on top of last year’s robust same store sales gains of 10% in March and 7% in April.”