Ross moves forward with expansion plans, will open 95 stores by year's end

Ross Stores (NASDAQ: ROST) is on track to meet its expansion goals with the addition of 37 new locations as it works toward the goal of adding 95 units by year-end.

So far, Ross has opened a total of 30 Ross Dress for Less and seven dd's Discounts stores in 14 states. The company is on a mission to reach 2,000 stores and continue growing in newer markets.

"We remain on track to open a total of approximately 95 new locations in 2014, comprised of about 75 Ross Dress for Less and 20 dd's Discounts," said Jim Fassio, president and chief development officer. "Long term we believe Ross can ultimately reach 2,000 locations, and continue to look for growth opportunities across all of our existing markets. Further, the planned expansion of dd's Discounts in 2014 marks the fourth consecutive year of double-digit percentage unit growth, as we continue to believe that dd's can become a 500–store chain over time."

The news comes on the heels of a strong holiday quarter for Ross Stores which benefited from better-than-expected merchandise gross margin. For fiscal 2013, the company's earnings came in at $10.23 billion, up 5 percent from the year-ago earnings. Same-store sales increased 3 percent year over year. 

In recent months, several retail chains have announced aggressive brick-and-mortar expansion plans, despite many companies deciding to pour more resources into online and omnichannel growth. Ashley Furniture just opened its 500th store, and will be opening 50 more by the end of the year, while Dunkin Donuts recently said it is seeking "non-traditional" locations, such as libraries, casinos and hotel lobbies, for more of its cafes. Joe Fresh, which is owned by Canadian grocer Loblaw, is planning to open 141 stores in 23 countries over the next several years.  

For more:
-See this Ross Stores press release

Related stories:
Joe Fresh unveils aggressive expansion plan, will open 141 new stores in 23 countries
Target forges ahead with Canadian expansion despite hiccups
Target to open 33 more Canadian stores in November
Target opening 23 more Canadian stores
Ashley Furniture opens 500th store as rapid expansion plan gets underway

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