Ross Stores bring value concept to Carolinas

Off-price apparel and home retailer Ross Stores debuted its format in the Carolinas this past weekend, opening one store each in North Carolina and South Carolina. In addition, the company also opened its third store in the Atlanta market, which it entered for the first time this spring with two stores.

All three locations feature the company's standard prototype store, which is just over 30,000 square feet.

"We are excited about the opportunity to offer our new customers in the Carolinas and Georgia great bargains on name-brand apparel and home-related merchandise," said Jim Peters, president and coo. "We also plan to open another four locations in Georgia, three in North Carolina and one in South Carolina by October, for a total of 13 Southeast stores by the end of 2001. We believe there is huge growth potential in these markets, where we are targeting a total of about 50 stores by 2004."

The new stores are in Gastonia, NC; Greenville, SC; and Snellville, GA. The Douglasville and Lawrenceville, GA, stores opened in March.

Ross Stores reported sales of $2.7 billion in 2000. The home area, including hard- and softlines, accounted for about 17 percent of an average store's sales for 2000, said Katie Loughnot, director of investor relations, with hopes of growing that to 20 percent over the next few years. "It certainly is a growing part of our business," she said.

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