Ross Stores is feeling upbeat about the holiday season amid a better holiday selection and ongoing sales momentum.

“We continue to expect a very promotional holiday selling season and ongoing inflationary headwinds to pressure our low-to-moderate income customers,” stated CEO Barbara Rentler. “That said, we face our easiest sales and earnings comparisons in the fourth quarter and are raising our guidance given our third quarter sales momentum and improved holiday assortments.”

In October, Ross said it had completed its 2022 expansion plans, which called for the addition of 99 new stores. The company has set a long-term goal to row to at least 2,900 Ross Dress for Less and 700 DD’s Discount locations over time.

“Third quarter results were above our expectations as we delivered stronger values throughout our stores,” stated CEO Barbara Rentler. “Operating margin for the period was 9.8 per cent versus 11.4 per cent last year, reflecting the deleveraging effect from the comparable sales decline as well as pressure from higher markdowns and unfavourable timing of packaway-related costs.”

Ross now expects fourth-quarter same-store sales to be flat to down two per cent on top of a nine per cent gain in the prior year, with earnings per share forecasted to be in the range of $1.13 to $1.26. Based on its year-to-date results and our fourth quarter forecast, earnings per share for fiscal 2022 are now projected to be in the range of $4.21 to $4.34 versus $4.87 last year.