As Retailers Shutter Doors, Ross Checks Off Plan to Open Nearly 100 Stores

As many traditional retailers continue to shutter their doors, off-price chain Ross Stores Inc. has made good on its plan to add nearly 100 stores to its brick-and-mortar footprint this year.

The discount retailer confirmed that it has opened 42 outposts in the fall — 30 Ross Dress for Less and 12 dd’s Discounts stores. As it looks to expand its relevance by entering new markets, it opened nine of those locations in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska and Ohio. The move brings Ross’ new-store count for 2019 to 98 and total footprint to 1,811 stores across 39 states.

“This fall, we continued to expand our Ross and dd’s footprints across our existing markets as well as expansion in our newer market: the Midwest,” said Jim Fassio, president and chief development officer. “Looking ahead, we remain confident in our ability to grow to 2,400 Ross Dress for Less and 600 dd’s Discounts locations over time.”

Ross also sought to add 100 brick-and-mortar stores last year, announcing in March 2018 its plans to open 75 Ross Dress for Less and 25 dd’s Discounts locations.

Its expansion comes at a time when rapidly shifting consumer preferences and the rise of e-commerce are forcing traditional retailers and brands to invest more heavily in online platforms and trim down their physical footprints. According to Coresight Research, retailers have announced 8,633 store closures for the year ending Oct. 11 — far exceeding the 5,844 closures for all of 2018. The advisory firm estimates that retailers could collectively shutter 12,000 outposts by the end of 2019.

In its latest earnings report ended Aug. 3, Ross Stores Inc. noted second-quarter revenues that climbed nearly 6.5% year over year to hit $4 billion. Same-store sales also grew 3%.

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