E Under The Spotlight - Ross Stores

Ross Stores, Inc. currently operates Ross Dress for Less®, an off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the U.S. with 1,629 locations in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.

Ross offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at savings of 20% to 60% off department and specialty store regular prices every day. Ross also operates 295 dd’s DISCOUNTS® stores in 21 states.

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Market Leader

Ross Department Store was first opened in San Bruno, California, in 1950 by Morris Ross. In 1958, Ross sold his store to William Isaacson who built the company to six stores located in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1982, a group of investors purchased the six Ross Department Stores and changed the format to off-price retail units.

Thirty-nine years later, the chain has expanded to 1,629 stores in 40 states with sales expected to top $18 billion in 2021. In 2004, Ross Stores launched dd’s DISCOUNTS, which targeted customers from households with more moderate income compared to Ross customers.

The company’s focus has been on bringing customers a constant stream of high-quality department and specialty store brands at extraordinary savings. The rapidly changing merchandise, with shipments typically arriving three to six times per week, provides the customer a “treasure hunt” shopping experience with the core customer returning two to three times per month.

As a leading off-price retail chain, Ross is able to negotiate the best deals for the top brands and latest fashions from their many vendors. The company is able to provide additional value to their customers and their bottom line by offering a no-frills shopping experience with low-cost displays and fixtures.

Outstanding Profitability

Ross Stores has a highly profitable business model that generated an average return on shareholders’ equity of 47.5% in the four years prior to the pandemic. Due to the pandemic Ross closed its stores in 2020, for an extended period of time.

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