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Ross taps lower-income consumers

Pleasanton, Calif. – Discovering it has tapped an “under-served” customer, Ross Stores Inc. will this year more than double the number of its dd’s discount units and expand to new markets.

During the off-price retail company’s presentation at Citigroup’s 2007 Retail Field Trip and Conference, evp and chief administrative officer Michael O’Sullivan said that since this concept launched during the third quarter of 2004, dd’s has “proven to be a strong segment of customers.”

The dd’s discounts concept currently comprises 26 units in California. It serves younger, lower-income shoppers with national chain and discount brands, versus its sister – Ross “Dress For Less” stores – which serve middle-income customers with department stores brands.

Ross Stores Inc. is planning for 90 new units this year – 63 of them Ross and 27 of them dd’s. These sites will include 40 of the recently acquired Albertson’s supermarket locations.

Gary Cribb, evp and ceo, added that the company sees a potential of 500 units for dd’s down the road. “We’re happy with top line,” he said. “dd’s sales are exceeding plan.”

HTT Research pegged home textiles sales at Ross Stores at $275.0 million in 2005.

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