Home furnishings a leader for off-pricer Ross
August 22, 2007,
Pleasanton, Calif. – Even as it reduced its earnings projections for the year, off-price retailer Ross Stores today highlighted home merchandise as a bright spot.
Responding to a question about opportunities in home categories, said, “The opportunities we’ve isolated are really in the gift-giving part of home.”
At No. 14 on the HTT Top 50 Retailing Giants, Ross Stores had 2006 home textiles sales of $320.0 million, according to HTT research.
Ross, now operating 817 Ross Dress for Less and 45 dd’s Discounts units, reported second quarter (ended August 4) net earnings of $50.9 million, up 16% from $45.4 million in the same period one year ago. Sales of $1.4 billion were up 10% from last year. Comp sales climbed 2%. Year-to-date comps are up 1%.
The company is seeking to build an overall apparel and home assortment that is “younger, fresher” and that emphasizes brands throughout the store, Balmuth added.
Ross offered a conservative forecast on sales and gross margins. The retailer reduced its third-quarter comp sales gain projection from 3% - 4% to 1% - 3%, and forecast 9% -11% total sales growth compared to the year-ago period.
The retailer projected 10% - 17% earnings growth for the year, or $1.80 to $1.90 per share, off from its original 2007 guidance of $1.85 to $1.95.
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