10-K 1 rossstores_10k.htm ANNUAL REPORT rossstores_10k.htm
 
UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K
 
  (Mark one)
   X        ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
  For the fiscal year ended January 30, 2010
  or
  TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
  For the transition period from _____ to _____

Commission file number 0-14678
 
Ross Stores, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
Delaware 94-1390387
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
   
4440 Rosewood Drive, Pleasanton, California 94588-3050
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
   
Registrant's telephone number, including area code (925) 965-4400

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of each class     Name of each exchange on which registered
Common stock, par value $.01 Nasdaq Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Title of each class
None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes    X     No          
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes           No    X    
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes    X     No        
 


Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes          No          
 
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.       
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. Large accelerated filer    X     Accelerated filer          Non-accelerated filer          Smaller reporting company        
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
Yes          No    X    
 
The aggregate market value of the voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of August 1, 2009 was $5,381,730,344, based on the closing price on that date as reported by the NASDAQ Global Select Market®. Shares of voting stock held by each director and executive officer have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.
 
The number of shares of Common Stock, with $.01 par value, outstanding on March 12, 2010 was 122,529,865.
 
Documents incorporated by reference:
  Portions of the Proxy Statement for Registrant's 2010 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed on or before June 1, 2010, are incorporated herein by reference into Part III.  
      
   
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PART I
 
Item 1. Business.
 
Ross Stores, Inc. and its subsidiaries (“we” or the “Company”) operate two chains of off-price retail apparel and home accessories stores. At January 30, 2010, we operated a total of 1,005 stores, of which 953 were Ross Dress for Less® (“Ross”) locations in 27 states and Guam and 52 were dd’s DISCOUNTS® stores in four states. Both chains target value-conscious women and men between the ages of 18 and 54. Ross target customers are primarily from middle income households, while the dd’s DISCOUNTS target customer is typically from more moderate income households. The decisions we make, from merchandising, purchasing and pricing, to the locations of our stores, are based on these customer profiles.
 
Ross offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 60 percent off department and specialty store regular prices. dd’s DISCOUNTS features a more moderately-priced assortment of first-quality, in-season, name brand apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 70 percent off moderate department and discount store regular prices. We believe that both Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS derive a competitive advantage by offering a wide assortment of product within each of our merchandise categories in organized and easy-to-shop store environments.
 
Our mission is to offer competitive values to our target customers by focusing on the following key strategic objectives:
  • Maintain an appropriate level of recognizable brands, labels, and fashions at strong discounts throughout the store.
  • Meet customer needs on a local basis.
  • Deliver an in-store shopping experience that reflects the expectations of the off-price customer.
  • Manage real estate growth to compete effectively across all our markets.
We refer to our fiscal years ended January 30, 2010, January 31, 2009, and February 2, 2008 as fiscal 2009, fiscal 2008, and fiscal 2007, respectively.
 
Merchandising, Purchasing and Pricing
 
We seek to provide our customers with a wide assortment of first-quality, in-season, brand-name and designer apparel, accessories, footwear, and home merchandise for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 60 percent below department and specialty store regular prices at Ross, and 20 to 70 percent below moderate department and discount store regular prices at dd’s DISCOUNTS. We sell recognizable brand-name merchandise that is current and fashionable in each category. New merchandise typically is received from three to six times per week at both Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS stores. Our buyers review their merchandise assortments on a weekly basis, enabling them to respond to selling trends and purchasing opportunities in the market. Our merchandising strategy is reflected in our advertising, which emphasizes a strong value message. Our stores offer a treasure-hunt shopping experience where customers can find great savings every day on a broad assortment of brand-name bargains for the family and the home.
 
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Merchandising. Our merchandising strategy incorporates a combination of off-price buying techniques to purchase advance-of-season, in-season, and past-season merchandise for both Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS. We believe nationally recognized name brands sold at compelling discounts will continue to be an important determinant of our success. We generally leave the brand-name label on the merchandise we sell.
 
We have established merchandise assortments that we believe are attractive to our target customers. Although we offer fewer classifications of merchandise than most department stores, we generally offer a large selection of brand names within each classification with a wide assortment of vendors, labels, prices, colors, styles, and fabrics within each size or item. The mix of comparable store sales by department in fiscal 2009 was approximately as follows: Ladies 30%, Home Accents and Bed and Bath 24%, Men's 13%, Accessories, Lingerie, Fine Jewelry, and Fragrances 13%, Shoes 11%, and Children’s 9%. Our merchandise offerings also include product categories such as small furniture and furniture accents, educational toys and games, luggage, gourmet food and cookware, watches, sporting goods and, in select Ross stores, fine jewelry.
 
Purchasing. We have a combined network of approximately 7,700 merchandise vendors and manufacturers for both Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS and believe we have adequate sources of first-quality merchandise to meet our requirements. We purchase the vast majority of our merchandise directly from manufacturers, and we have not experienced any difficulty in obtaining sufficient merchandise inventory.
 
We believe that our ability to effectively execute certain off-price buying strategies is a key factor in our success. Our buyers use a number of methods that enable us to offer our customers brand-name and designer merchandise at strong everyday discounts relative to department and specialty stores for Ross and moderate department and discount stores for dd’s DISCOUNTS. By purchasing later in the merchandise buying cycle than department, specialty, and discount stores we are able to take advantage of imbalances between retailers’ demand for products and manufacturers’ supply of those products.
 
Unlike most department and specialty stores, we typically do not require that manufacturers provide promotional allowances, co-op advertising allowances, return privileges, split shipments, drop shipments to stores, or delayed deliveries of merchandise. For most orders, only one delivery is made to one of our four distribution centers. These flexible requirements further enable our buyers to obtain significant discounts on in-season purchases.
 
The majority of the apparel and apparel-related merchandise that we offer in all of our stores is acquired through opportunistic purchases created by manufacturer overruns and canceled orders both during and at the end of a season. These buys are referred to as "close-out" and "packaway" purchases. Close-outs can be shipped to stores in-season, allowing us to get in-season goods into our stores at lower prices. Packaway merchandise is purchased with the intent that it will be stored in our warehouses until a later date, which may even be the beginning of the same selling season in the following year. Packaway purchases are an effective method of increasing the percentage of prestige and national brands at competitive savings within our merchandise assortments. Packaway merchandise is mainly fashion basics and, therefore, not usually affected by shifts in fashion trends.
 
In fiscal 2009, we continued our emphasis on this important sourcing strategy in response to compelling opportunities available in the marketplace. Packaway accounted for approximately 38% of total inventories as of January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009. We believe the strong discounts we are able to offer on packaway merchandise are one of the key drivers of our business results.
 
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We continued to roll out additional information system enhancements and process changes to improve our merchandising capabilities. These new tools are designed to strengthen our ability to plan, buy, and allocate at a more local versus regional level. We completed the chain-wide rollout to all merchandise categories for Ross in fiscal 2009, which was earlier than planned. The long-term objective of these investments is to fine tune our merchandise offerings to address more localized customer preferences and thereby gradually increase sales productivity and gross profit margins in both newer and existing regions and markets. 
 
Our buying offices are located in New York City and Los Angeles, the nation's two largest apparel markets. These strategic locations allow our buyers to be in the market on a daily basis, sourcing opportunities and negotiating purchases with vendors and manufacturers. These locations also enable our buyers to strengthen vendor relationships -- a key element to the success of our off-price buying strategies.
 
Over the past year, we continued to make strategic investments in our merchandise organization to further enhance our ability to deliver name brand bargains to our customers. At the end of fiscal 2009, we had a total of approximately 410 merchants for Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS combined, up from 360 in the prior year. The Ross and dd’s buying organizations are separate and distinct. These buying resources include merchandise management, buyers, and assistant buyers. Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS buyers have an average of about 12 years of experience, including merchandising positions with other retailers such as Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale's, Burlington Coat Factory, Foot Locker, HomeGoods, Kohl’s, Loehmann’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Saks, and T.J. Maxx. We expect to continue to make additional targeted investments in new merchants to further develop our relationships with an expanding number of manufacturers and vendors. Our ongoing objective is to strengthen our ability to procure the most desirable brands and fashions at competitive discounts.
 
The off-price buying strategies utilized by our experienced team of merchants enable us to purchase Ross merchandise at net prices that are lower than prices paid by department and specialty stores and to purchase dd’s DISCOUNTS merchandise at net prices that are lower than prices paid by moderate department and discount stores.
 
Pricing. Our policy is to sell brand-name merchandise at Ross that is priced 20 to 60 percent below most department and specialty store regular prices. At dd’s DISCOUNTS, we sell more moderate brand-name product and fashions that are priced 20 to 70 percent below most moderate department and discount store regular prices. Our pricing policy is reflected on the price tag displaying our selling price as well as the comparable selling price for that item in department and specialty stores for Ross merchandise, or in more moderate department and discount stores for dd’s DISCOUNTS merchandise.
 
Our pricing strategy at Ross differs from that of a department or specialty store. We purchase our merchandise at lower prices and mark it up less than a department or specialty store. This strategy enables us to offer customers consistently low prices. On a weekly basis our buyers review specified departments in our stores for possible markdowns based on the rate of sale as well as at the end of fashion seasons to promote faster turnover of merchandise inventory and to accelerate the flow of fresh product. A similar pricing strategy is in place at dd’s DISCOUNTS where prices are compared to those in moderate department and discount stores.
 
Stores
 
At January 30, 2010, we operated a total of 1,005 stores comprised of 953 Ross stores and 52 dd’s DISCOUNTS stores. Our stores are conveniently located in predominantly community and neighborhood shopping centers in heavily populated urban and suburban areas. Where the size of the market permits, we cluster stores to benefit from economies of scale in advertising, distribution, and field management.
 
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We believe a key element of our success is our organized, attractive, easy-to-shop, in-store environments at both Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS, which allow customers to shop at their own pace. While our stores promote a self-service, treasure hunt shopping experience, the layouts are designed to promote customer convenience in their merchandise presentation, dressing rooms, checkout, and merchandise return areas. Each store's sales area is based on a prototype single floor design with a racetrack aisle layout. A customer can locate desired departments by signs displayed just below the ceiling of each department. We enable our customers to select among sizes and prices through prominent category and sizing markers, promoting a self-service atmosphere. At most stores, shopping carts are available at the entrance for customer convenience. All cash registers are centrally located at store exits for customer ease and efficient staffing.
 
We use point-of-sale (“POS”) hardware and software systems in all stores, which minimizes transaction time for the customer at the checkout counter by electronically scanning each ticket at the point of sale and authorizing personal checks and credit cards in a matter of seconds. In addition, the POS systems allow us to accept debit cards and electronic gift cards from customers. For Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS combined, approximately 58% of payments in fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2008 were made with credit cards and debit cards. We provide cash, credit card, and debit card refunds on all merchandise (not used, worn, or altered) returned with a receipt within 30 days. Merchandise returns having a receipt older than 30 days are exchanged or credited with store credit.
 
Operating Costs
 
Consistent with the other aspects of our business strategy, we strive to keep operating costs as low as possible. Among the factors which have enabled us to keep operating costs low are:
  • Labor costs that generally are lower than full-price department and specialty stores due to a store design that creates a self-service retail format and due to the utilization of labor saving technologies.
     
  • Economies of scale with respect to general and administrative costs as a result of centralized merchandising, marketing, and purchasing decisions.
     
  • Flexible store layout criteria which facilitates conversion of existing buildings to our formats.
Information Systems
 
We continue to invest in new information systems and technology to provide a platform for growth over the next several years. Recent initiatives include the following:
  • We completed the rollout of demand forecasting software and related process changes designed to strengthen our merchandise planning effectiveness for Ross. We expect this initiative to drive gradual increases over time in store sales productivity and profitability by improving our ability to plan, buy, and allocate product at a more local level.
     
  • We implemented additional supply chain enhancements to support expansion and improvement of our supply chain network. We also implemented a new labor time and attendance system at all of our distribution centers.
     
  • We completed the rollout of new tools to better support the continued growth of our import business. These new tools provide our merchants with greater visibility into item cost components and inbound movement of import products.
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  • We made enhancements to our POS systems to reduce customer transaction and wait times.
     
  • We implemented enhanced labor scheduling capabilities to give our stores the ability to better align the workforce with in-store activities.
     
  • We upgraded our loss prevention software to allow for greater in-depth analysis and reporting. We also invested in additional store video surveillance systems to provide centralized remote monitoring.
     
  • We implemented new on-line tools to assist our stores in their recruiting and hiring efforts. These new tools are designed to help our store managers expedite the hiring process and increase the quality of hiring decisions.
Distribution
 
We have four distribution processing facilities–-two in California and one each in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. We ship all of our merchandise to our stores through these distribution centers, which are large, highly automated, and built to suit our specific off-price business model.
 
In addition, we own one and lease three other warehouse facilities for packaway storage. We use other third-party facilities as needed for storage of packaway inventory.
 
We also utilize third-party cross docks to distribute merchandise to stores on a regional basis. Shipments are made by contract carriers to the stores from three to six times per week depending on location.
 
We believe that our existing distribution centers with their current expansion capabilities will provide adequate processing capacity to support store growth over the next few years. Additional information on the size and locations of our distribution centers and warehouse facilities is found under “Properties” in Item 2.
 
Advertising
 
We rely primarily on television advertising to communicate the Ross value proposition--brand-name merchandise at low everyday prices. This strategy reflects our belief that television is the most efficient and cost-effective medium for communicating everyday savings on a wide selection of brand-name bargains for both the family and home. Advertising for dd’s DISCOUNTS is primarily focused on new store grand openings and local grass roots initiatives.
 
Trademarks
 
The trademarks for Ross Dress For Less® and dd’s DISCOUNTS® have been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
 
Employees
 
As of January 30, 2010, we had approximately 45,600 total employees, including an estimated 32,300 part-time employees. Additionally, we hire temporary employees--especially during the peak seasons. Our employees are non-union. Management considers the relationship between the Company and our employees to be good.
 
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Competition
 
We believe the principal competitive factors in the off-price retail apparel and home accessories industry are offering significant discounts on brand-name merchandise, offering a well-balanced assortment that appeals to our target customer, and consistently providing store environments that are convenient and easy to shop. To execute this concept, we continue to make strategic investments in our buying organization. As discussed under Information Systems, we also recently completed the rollout in fiscal 2009 of additional enhancements to our merchandise planning system to strengthen our ability to plan, buy, and allocate product based on more local versus regional trends. We believe that we are well positioned to compete on the basis of each of these factors.
 
Nevertheless, the retail apparel market is highly fragmented and competitive. We face a challenging macro- economic and retail environment that creates intense competition for business from department stores, specialty stores, discount stores, warehouse stores, other off-price retailers, and manufacturer-owned outlet stores, many of which are units of large national or regional chains that have substantially greater resources. We also compete to some degree with retailers that sell apparel and home accessories through catalogs or over the internet. The retail apparel and home-related businesses may become even more competitive in the future.
 
dd’s DISCOUNTS
 
At January 30, 2010, we operated 52 dd’s DISCOUNTS in four states: 39 in California, 7 in Texas, 5 in Florida, and 1 in Arizona. At January 31, 2009, we had 39 dd’s DISCOUNTS stores in California, 6 in Florida, 5 in Texas, and 2 in Arizona, for a total of 52 stores. This smaller off-price concept targets the needs of households with more moderate incomes than Ross customers. We believe this is one of the fastest growing demographic markets in the country. dd’s DISCOUNTS features a moderately-priced assortment of first-quality, in-season, name brand apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions at everyday savings of 20 to 70 percent off moderate department and discount store regular prices.
 
The dd’s DISCOUNTS business generally has similar merchandise departments and categories to those of Ross, but features a different mix of brands at lower average price points. The typical dd’s DISCOUNTS store is located in an established shopping center in a densely populated urban or suburban neighborhood. The merchant, store, and distribution organizations for dd’s DISCOUNTS and Ross are separate and distinct; however, dd’s DISCOUNTS shares certain other corporate and support services with Ross.
 
Available Information
 
The internet address for our corporate website is www.rossstores.com. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, Proxy Statements, and amendments to those reports are made available free of charge on or through the Investors section of our corporate website promptly after being electronically filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The information found on our corporate website is not part of this, or any other report or regulatory filing we file with or furnish to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
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Item 1A. Risk Factors.
 
Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2009, and information we provide in our Annual Report to Stockholders, press releases, telephonic reports, and other investor communications, including those on our corporate website, may contain forward-looking statements with respect to anticipated future events and our projected financial performance, operations and competitive position that are subject to risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those forward-looking statements and our prior expectations and projections. Refer to Management’s Discussion and Analysis for a more complete identification and discussion of “Forward-Looking Statements.”
 
Our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and the performance of our common stock may be adversely affected by a number of risk factors. Risks and uncertainties that apply to both Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS include, without limitation, the following:
 
We are subject to the economic and industry risks that affect large retailers operating in the United States.
 
Our business is exposed to the risks of a large, multi-store retailer, which must continually and efficiently obtain and distribute a supply of fresh merchandise throughout a large and growing network of stores. These risk factors include:
  • An increase in the level of competitive pressures in the apparel or home-related merchandise industry.
     
  • Changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences for apparel or home-related merchandise, including the potential impact from the macro-economic environment, uncertainty in financial and credit markets, and changes in geopolitical conditions.
     
  • Unseasonable weather trends that could affect consumer demand for seasonal apparel and apparel-related products.
     
  • A change in the availability, quantity, or quality of attractive brand-name merchandise at desirable discounts that could impact our ability to purchase product and continue to offer customers a wide assortment of merchandise at competitive prices.
     
  • Potential disruptions in the supply chain that could impact our ability to deliver product to our stores in a timely and cost-effective manner.
     
  • A change in the availability, quality, or cost of new store real estate locations.
     
  • A downturn in the economy or a natural disaster in California or in another region where we have a concentration of stores or a distribution center. Our corporate headquarters, Los Angeles buying office, two distribution centers, and 26% of our stores are located in California.
We are subject to operating risks as we attempt to execute on our merchandising and growth strategies.
 
The continued success of our business depends, in part, upon our ability to increase sales at our existing store locations, to open new stores, and to operate stores on a profitable basis. Our existing strategies and store expansion programs may not result in a continuation of our anticipated revenue or profit growth. In executing our off-price retail strategies and working to improve efficiencies, expand our store network, and reduce our costs, we face a number of operational risks, including:
  • Our ability to attract and retain personnel with the retail talent necessary to execute our strategies.
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  • Our ability to effectively operate our various supply chain, core merchandising, and other information systems.
     
  • Our ability to improve our merchandising capabilities through the recent implementation of new processes and systems enhancements.
     
  • Our ability to improve new store sales and profitability, especially in newer regions and markets.
     
  • Our ability to achieve and maintain targeted levels of productivity and efficiency in our distribution centers.
     
  • Our ability to lease or acquire acceptable new store sites with favorable demographics and long term financial returns.
     
  • Our ability to identify and to successfully enter new geographic markets.
     
  • Our ability to achieve planned gross margins by effectively managing inventories, markdowns, and shrink.
     
  • Our ability to effectively manage all operating costs of the business, the largest of which are payroll and benefit costs for store and distribution center employees.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
 
Not applicable.
 
Item 2. Properties.
 
At January 30, 2010, we operated a total of 1,005 stores, of which 953 were Ross Dress for Less locations in 27 states and Guam and 52 were dd’s DISCOUNTS® stores in four states. All stores are leased, with the exception of two locations which we own.
 
During fiscal 2009, we opened 52 new Ross stores and closed three existing stores. The average approximate Ross store size is 29,800 square feet.
 
During fiscal 2009, we opened four new dd’s DISCOUNTS stores and closed four existing stores. The average approximate dd’s DISCOUNTS store size is 24,900 square feet. Our dd’s DISCOUNTS stores are currently located in California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona.
 
During fiscal 2009, no one store accounted for more than 1% of our sales.
 
We carry earthquake insurance for business interruption, inventory, and personal property to mitigate our risk on our corporate headquarters, distribution centers, buying offices, and all of our stores.
 
Our real estate strategy in 2010 is to open stores in states where we currently operate to increase our market penetration and to reduce overhead and advertising expenses as a percentage of sales in each market. We expect to enter new states for both Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS in 2011. Important considerations in evaluating a new store location are the availability and quality of potential sites, demographic characteristics, competition, and population density of the local trade area. In addition, we continue to consider opportunistic real estate acquisitions.
 
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The following table summarizes the locations of our stores by state as of January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009.
 
State/Territory      January 30, 2010      January 31, 2009
Alabama 17 17
Arizona 52 52
California 259 247
Colorado 28 27
Delaware 1 1
Florida 125 114
Georgia 44 44
Guam 1 1
Hawaii 12 11
Idaho 9 9
Louisiana 11 10
Maryland 18 17
Mississippi 5 5
Montana 6 6
Nevada 20 19
New Jersey 10 9
New Mexico 6 5
North Carolina 32 32
Oklahoma 18 16
Oregon 25 25
Pennsylvania 32   29
South Carolina 20 20
Tennessee 25 24
Texas 153 143
Utah   12 12
Virginia 32 30
Washington 30 29
Wyoming 2 2
Total 1,005 956

Where possible, we obtain sites in buildings requiring minimal alterations, allowing us to establish stores in new locations in a relatively short period of time at reasonable costs in a given market. At January 30, 2010, the majority of our stores had unexpired original lease terms ranging from three to ten years with three to four renewal options of five years each. The average unexpired original lease term of our leased stores is five years, or 22 years if renewal options are included. See Note E of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
See additional discussion under “Stores” in Item 1.
 
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The following table summarizes the location and approximate sizes of our distribution centers, warehouses, and office locations as of January 30, 2010. Square footage information for the distribution centers and warehouses represents total ground floor area of the facility. Square footage information for office space represents total space occupied. See additional discussion in Management’s Discussion and Analysis.
 
 
Location     Approximate Square Footage     Own / Lease
Distribution centers
     Carlisle, Pennsylvania   425,000               OWN
     Fort Mill, South Carolina 1,300,000               OWN
     Moreno Valley, California 1,300,000               OWN
     Perris, California 1,300,000               LEASE
 
Warehouses
     Carlisle, Pennsylvania 239,000               LEASE
     Carlisle, Pennsylvania 246,000               LEASE
     Fort Mill, South Carolina 423,000               OWN
     Fort Mill, South Carolina 255,000               LEASE
 
Office space
     Los Angeles, California 26,000               LEASE
     New York City, New York 197,000               LEASE
     Pleasanton, California 181,000               LEASE
 

In October 2008, we purchased 167 acres of land in the Southeast.
 
See additional discussion under “Distribution” in Item 1.
 
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
 
Like many California retailers, we have been named in class action lawsuits regarding wage and hour claims. Class action litigation involving allegations that hourly associates have missed meal and/or rest break periods, as well as allegations of unpaid overtime wages to store managers and assistant store managers at Company stores under state law remains pending as of January 30, 2010.
 
We are also party to various other legal proceedings arising in the normal course of business. Actions filed against us include commercial, product, customer, intellectual property, and labor and employment-related claims, including lawsuits in which plaintiffs allege that we violated state or federal laws. Actions against us are in various procedural stages. Many of these proceedings raise factual and legal issues and are subject to uncertainties.
 
We believe that the resolution of these legal proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
 
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Item 4. (Removed and Reserved).
 
Executive Officers of the Registrant
 
The following sets forth the names and ages of our executive officers, indicating each person's principal occupation or employment during at least the past five years. The term of office is at the discretion of our Board of Directors.
 
Name      Age      Position
Michael Balmuth 59 Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
James S. Fassio 55 President and Chief Development Officer
Michael O’Sullivan 46 President and Chief Operating Officer
Barbara Rentler 52 President and Chief Merchandising Officer
Lisa Panattoni 47 Group Executive Vice President, Merchandising
John G. Call 51 Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Balmuth joined the Board of Directors as Vice Chairman and became Chief Executive Officer in September 1996. From February 2005 to December 2009, he also served as President. He was Executive Vice President, Merchandising from July 1993 to September 1996 and Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager from November 1989 to July 1993. Before joining Ross, he was Senior Vice President and General Merchandising Manager at Bon Marché in Seattle from September 1988 to November 1989. From April 1986 to September 1988, he served as Executive Vice President and General Merchandising Manager for Karen Austin Petites.
 
Mr. Fassio became President and Chief Development Officer in December 2009. Prior to this, he was Executive Vice President, Property Development, Construction and Store Design from February 2005 to December 2009. From March 1991 to February 2005, he served as Senior Vice President, Property Development, Construction and Store Design. He joined the Company in June 1988 as Vice President of Real Estate. Prior to joining Ross, Mr. Fassio held various retail and real estate positions with Safeway Stores, Inc.
 
Mr. O’Sullivan became President and Chief Operating Officer in December 2009. From February 2005 to December 2009, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, after joining Ross in September 2003 as Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Marketing. From 1991 to 2003, Mr. O’Sullivan was a partner with Bain & Company providing consulting advice to retail, consumer goods, financial services and private equity clients.
 
Ms. Rentler has served as President and Chief Merchandising Officer of Ross Dress for Less® since December 2009, with responsibility for all merchandising categories at Ross. From December 2006 to December 2009, she was Executive Vice President, Merchandising, with responsibility for all Ross Apparel and Apparel-related products. She also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer of dd’s DISCOUNTS® from February 2005 to December 2006, Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer of dd's DISCOUNTS from January 2004 to February 2005 and Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager at Ross Dress for Less from February 2001 to January 2004. Prior to that, she held various merchandising positions since joining the Company in February 1986.
 
Ms. Panattoni was named Group Executive Vice President, Merchandising for Ross Home, Men’s and Children’s in December 2009. She joined the Company in January 2005 as Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager of Ross Home and was promoted to Executive Vice President in October 2005. Prior to joining Ross, Ms. Panattoni was with The TJX Companies, where she served as Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing for HomeGoods from 1998 to 2004 and as Divisional Merchandise Manager of the Marmaxx Home Store from 1994 to 1998.
 
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Mr. Call has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since joining the Company in June 1997. From June 1997 to February 2009 he also served as Corporate Secretary. Mr. Call was Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer of Friedman’s from June 1993 until joining Ross in 1997. Prior to joining Friedman’s, Mr. Call held various positions with Ernst & Young LLP.
 
PART II
 
Item 5. 
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
 
General information. See the information set forth under the caption "Quarterly Financial Data (Unaudited)" under Note K of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this Annual Report, which is incorporated herein by reference. Our stock is traded on The NASDAQ Global Select Market® under the symbol ROST. There were 768 stockholders of record as of March 12, 2010 and the closing stock price on that date was $52.92 per share.
 
Cash dividends. In January 2010, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend payment of $.16 per common share, payable on March 31, 2010. Our Board of Directors declared quarterly cash dividends of $.11 per common share in January, May, August, and November 2009, and cash dividends of $.095 per common share in January, May, August, and November 2008.
 
Issuer purchases of equity securities. Information regarding shares of common stock we repurchased during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 is as follows:
 
    
Total number of Maximum number   
Total shares (or units) (or approximate dollar
number of Average purchased as part value) of shares (or units)
shares price paid of publicly that may yet be purchased
(or units) per share announced plans or under the plans or
Period      purchased1      (or unit)      programs      programs ($000)
November
(11/01/2009-11/28/2009)   310,363     $  45.31   309,776     $  56,000
December
(11/29/2009-01/02/2010) 724,912 $ 43.68 722,670 $ 25,000
January
(01/03/2010-01/30/2010) 553,919 $ 45.27 542,397 $ -
 
Total 1,589,194 $ 44.55 1,574,843 $
 

1 We acquired 14,351 shares of treasury stock during the quarter ended January 30, 2010. Treasury stock includes shares purchased from employees for tax withholding purposes related to vesting of restricted stock grants. All remaining shares were repurchased under our publicly announced stock repurchase program.
2 In January 2010 our Board of Directors approved a two-year $750 million stock repurchase program for fiscal 2010 and 2011.
 
See Note H of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for equity compensation plan information. The information under Item 12 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the caption “Equity compensation plan information” is incorporated herein by reference.
 
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Stockholder Return Performance Graph
 
The following information in this Item 5 shall not be deemed filed for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Act of 1934, nor shall it be deemed incorporated by reference in any filing under the Securities Act of 1933.
 
Set forth below is a line graph comparing the cumulative total stockholder returns for our common stock with the Standard & Poors (“S&P”) 500 Index and the S&P Retailing Group over the last five years. The five year period comparison graph assumes that the value of the investment in our common stock at each fiscal year end and the comparative indexes was $100 on January 31, 2005 and measures the performance of this investment as of the last trading day in the month of January for each of the following five years. These measurement dates are based on the historical month-end data available and may vary slightly from our actual fiscal year-end date for each period. Data with respect to returns for the S&P indexes is not readily available for periods shorter than one month. The total return assumes the reinvestment of dividends at the frequency with which dividends are paid. The graph is a historical representation of past performance only and is not necessarily indicative of future returns to stockholders.
 
COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*
Among Ross Stores, Inc., The S&P 500 Index
and S&P Retailing Group
 
 
*$100 invested on 1/28/05 in stock or 1/31/05 in index, including reinvestment of dividends.
Fiscal year ended January 31. Indexes calculated on month-end basis.

 
Base Period Indexed Returns for Years Ended
Company / Index       2005       2006       2007       2008       2009       2010
Ross Stores, Inc. 100   106   119   110   110   173
S&P 500 Index 100 110 126 123 76 101
S&P Retailing Group 100 109 124 106 67 107

15
 


Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
 
The following selected financial data is derived from our consolidated financial statements. The data set forth below should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” the section “Forward-Looking Statements” in this Annual Report on Form 10K and our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto.
 
       
($000, except per share data)    2009    2008    2007    20061    2005
Operations
 
Sales $  7,184,213 $  6,486,139 $  5,975,212 $  5,570,210 $  4,944,179
Cost of goods sold 5,327,278 4,956,576 4,618,220 4,317,527 3,852,591
     Percent of sales 74.2% 76.4% 77.3% 77.5%   77.9%  
Selling, general and administrative 1,130,813 1,034,357 935,901 863,033 766,144
     Percent of sales 15.7% 16.0% 15.7% 15.5% 15.5%
Interest expense (income), net 7,593 (157 ) (4,029 ) (8,627 ) (2,898 )
Earnings before taxes 718,529 495,363 425,120 398,277 328,342
     Percent of sales 10.0% 7.6% 7.1% 7.2% 6.6%
Provision for taxes on earnings 275,772 189,922 164,069 156,643 128,710
Net earnings 442,757 305,441   261,051   241,634     199,632
     Percent of sales 6.2% 4.7% 4.4% 4.3%   4.0%
Basic earnings per share   $ 3.60   $ 2.36     $ 1.93   $ 1.73 $ 1.38
Diluted earnings per share $ 3.54 $ 2.33 $ 1.90 $ 1.70 $ 1.36
 
Cash dividends declared per common share $ .490 $ .395 $ .320 $ .255 $ .220
 
1 Fiscal 2006 was a 53-week year; all other fiscal years presented were 52 weeks.
 

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Selected Financial Data
 
       
($000, except per share data) 2009      2008      2007      2006¹      2005
Financial Position
 
Merchandise inventory $ 872,498 $ 881,058 $ 1,025,295 $ 1,051,729 $ 938,091  
Property and equipment, net 942,999 951,656 868,315 748,233 639,852
Total assets  2,768,633  2,355,511  2,371,322  2,358,591    1,938,738
Return on average assets 17%   13% 11%   11%   11%
Working capital 554,933 358,456 387,396 431,699 349,864
Current ratio 1.5:1 1.4:1 1.4:1 1.4:1 1.4:1
Long-term debt 150,000 150,000 150,000 150,000 -
Long-term debt as a percent
       of total capitalization 11%   13%   13%   14%   -
Stockholders' equity 1,157,293   996,369     970,649   909,830 836,172
Return on average stockholders' equity 41%   31%   28%   28%   25%
  Book value per common share
       outstanding at year-end $ 9.41   $ 7.82 $ 7.24 $ 6.53 $ 5.80
 
Operating Statistics
 
Number of stores opened 56 77 98 66 86
Number of stores closed 7 11 5 3 1
Number of stores at year-end 1,005 956 890 797 734
Comparable store sales increase²
       (52-week basis) 6% 2%   1%   4%   6%
Sales per square foot of selling
       space3 (52-week basis) $ 311 $ 298 $ 301 $ 305 $ 304
Square feet of selling space
       at year-end (000) 23,700 22,500 21,100 18,600 17,300
Number of employees at year-end 45,600 40,000 39,100 35,800 33,200
Number of common stockholders
       of record at year-end 767 754 760 749 756
 
 
1 Fiscal 2006 was a 53-week year; all other fiscal years presented were 52 weeks.
2 Comparable stores are stores open for more than 14 complete months.
3 Based on average annual selling square footage.
 

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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
 
Overview
 
We are the second largest off-price apparel and home goods retailer in the United States. At the end of fiscal 2009, we operated 953 Ross Dress for Less (“Ross”) locations in 27 states and Guam, and 52 dd’s DISCOUNTS stores in four states. Ross offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions at everyday savings of 20 to 60 percent off department and specialty store regular prices. dd’s DISCOUNTS features a more moderately-priced assortment of first-quality, in-season, name brand apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions at everyday savings of 20 to 70 percent off moderate department and discount store regular prices.
 
Our primary objective is to pursue and refine our existing off-price strategies to maintain or improve profitability and improve financial returns over the long term. In establishing appropriate growth targets for our business, we closely monitor market share trends for the off-price industry. Total aggregate sales for five of the largest off-price retailers in the United States increased 7% during 2009 on top of a 3% increase in 2008. This compares to total national apparel sales which declined 5% during 2009 compared to a 3% decline in 2008, according to data published by the NPD Group, Inc., which provides global sales and marketing information on the retail industry.
 
We believe that the stronger relative sales gains of the off-price retailers during 2009 were driven mainly by the increased focus on value by consumers, whose spending continued to be pressured by the challenging macro-economic environment. Our sales and earnings gains in 2009 benefited from efficient execution of our resilient and flexible off-price business model. Our merchandise and operational strategies are designed to take advantage of the expanding market share of our off-price industry as well as the ongoing customer demand for name brand fashions for the family and home at compelling everyday discounts.
 
Looking ahead to 2010, we are planning to maintain tight controls of both inventory levels and operating expenses as part of our strategy to help us maximize our profitability.
 
We refer to our fiscal years ended January 30, 2010, January 31, 2009, and February 2, 2008 as fiscal 2009, fiscal 2008, and fiscal 2007, respectively. Fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007 were 52 weeks.
 
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Results of Operations
 
The following table summarizes the financial results for fiscal years ended 2009, 2008, and 2007.
 
     
     2009      2008      2007
Sales    
     Sales (millions)   $ 7,184 $ 6,486   $ 5,975
       Sales growth    10.8%   8.6% 7.3%
     Comparable store sales growth 6%   2% 1%
 
Costs and expenses (as a percent of sales)
     Cost of goods sold 74.2%    76.4%  77.3%
     Selling, general and administrative 15.7%   16.0% 15.7%
     Interest expense (income), net 0.1%     0.0% (0.1% )
 
Earnings before taxes (as a percent of sales) 10.0%   7.6% 7.1%
 
Net earnings (as a percent of sales) 6.2%   4.7% 4.4%
 

Stores. Total stores open at the end of 2009, 2008, and 2007 were 1,005, 956, and 890, respectively. The number of stores at the end of fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007 increased by 5%, 7%, and 12% from the respective prior years. Our expansion strategy is to open additional stores based on market penetration, local demographic characteristics, competition, expected store profitability, and the ability to leverage overhead expenses. We continually evaluate opportunistic real estate acquisitions and opportunities for potential new store locations. We also evaluate our current store locations and determine store closures based on similar criteria.
 
  
     2009      2008      2007
  Stores at the beginning of the period 956 890 797  
Stores opened in the period 56 77     98
Stores closed in the period (7 )   (11 ) (5 )
Stores at the end of the period   1,005   956 890
 
Selling square footage at the end of the period (000) 23,700 22,500 21,100
  

Sales. Sales for fiscal 2009 increased $698.1 million, or 10.8%, compared to the prior year due to the opening of 49 net new stores during 2009, and a 6% increase in sales from “comparable” stores (defined as stores that have been open for more than 14 complete months). Sales for fiscal 2008 increased $510.9 million, or 8.6%, compared to the prior year due to the opening of 66 net new stores during 2008, and a 2% increase in sales from comparable stores.
 
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Our sales mix is shown below for fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007:
 
  
     2009      2008      2007  
Ladies 30% 32% 32%
Home accents and bed and bath 24% 23% 23%
Men’s 13% 14% 15%
  Accessories, lingerie, fine jewelry, and fragrances 13% 12% 11%
Shoes 11% 10%   10%
Children’s   9% 9% 9%
Total 100%   100% 100%
  

We expect to address the competitive climate for off-price apparel and home goods by pursuing and refining our existing strategies and by continuing to strengthen our organization, to diversify our merchandise mix, and to more fully develop our organization and systems to improve regional and local merchandise offerings. Although our strategies and store expansion program contributed to sales gains in fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, we cannot be sure that they will result in a continuation of sales growth or an increase in net earnings.
 
Cost of goods sold. Cost of goods sold in fiscal 2009 increased $370.7 million compared to the prior year mainly due to increased sales from the opening of 49 net new stores during the year, and a 6% increase in sales from comparable stores.
 
Cost of goods sold as a percentage of sales for fiscal 2009 decreased approximately 230 basis points from the prior year. This improvement was mainly the result of a 170 basis point increase in merchandise gross margin, which includes a 40 basis point benefit from lower shortage. In addition, freight costs declined by about 50 basis points, occupancy leveraged 35 basis points, and distribution costs declined by about 10 basis points. These improvements were partially offset by a 35 basis point increase in buying expenses due in part to higher incentive costs versus the prior year.
 
Cost of goods sold in fiscal 2008 increased $338.4 million compared to the prior year mainly due to increased sales from the opening of 66 net new stores during the year, and a 2% increase in sales from comparable stores.
 
Cost of goods sold as a percentage of sales for fiscal 2008 decreased approximately 90 basis points from the prior year. This improvement was mainly the result of a 100 basis point increase in merchandise gross margin. In addition, distribution costs for the year improved by about 20 basis points. As a percent of sales, these favorable trends were partially offset by a 10 basis point increase in occupancy expense and a 20 basis point increase in incentive costs.
 
We cannot be sure that the gross profit margins realized in fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007 will continue in future years.
 
Selling, general and administrative expenses. For fiscal 2009, selling, general and administrative expenses (“SG&A”) increased $96.5 million compared to the prior year, mainly due to increased store operating costs reflecting the opening of 49 net new stores during the year.
 
SG&A as a percentage of sales for fiscal 2009 decreased by approximately 20 basis points compared to the prior year. This decrease was mainly driven by 40 basis points of leverage on store operating expenses partially offset by a 20 basis point increase in general and administrative expenses due in part to higher incentive costs versus the prior year.
 
For fiscal 2008, SG&A increased $98.5 million compared to the prior year, mainly due to increased store operating costs reflecting the opening of 66 net new stores during the year.
 
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SG&A as a percentage of sales for fiscal 2008 grew by approximately 30 basis points over the prior year. This increase was mainly driven by a 20 basis point increase in store operating expenses and a 10 basis point increase in general and administrative costs as a percent of sales.
 
The largest component of SG&A is payroll. The total number of employees, including both full and part-time, as of fiscal year end 2009, 2008, and 2007 was approximately 45,600, 40,000, and 39,100, respectively.
 
Interest expense (income), net. In fiscal 2009, interest expense increased by $1.1 million primarily due to lower capitalization of construction interest. In fiscal 2009, interest income decreased by $6.7 million primarily due to lower investment yields as compared to the prior year. As a percentage of sales, net interest expense in fiscal 2009 decreased pre-tax earnings by approximately 10 basis points compared to the same period in the prior year. The table below shows interest expense and income for fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007:
 
   ($ millions)       2009       2008       2007   
Interest expense $ 9.4 $ 8.3 $ 9.8
  Interest income  (1.8 ) (8.5 )  (13.8 )
Total interest expense (income), net $ 7.6 $  (0.2 ) $ (4.0 )
 

Taxes on earnings. Our effective tax rate for fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007 was approximately 38%, 38%, and 39%, respectively, which represents the applicable combined federal and state statutory rates reduced by the federal benefit of state taxes deductible on federal returns. The effective rate is affected by changes in law, location of new stores, level of earnings, and the resolution of tax positions with various taxing authorities. We anticipate that our effective tax rate for fiscal 2010 will be in the range of 38% to 39%.
 
Net earnings. Net earnings as a percentage of sales for fiscal 2009 were higher compared to fiscal 2008 primarily due to both lower cost of goods sold and lower SG&A expenses as a percentage of sales. Net earnings as a percentage of sales for fiscal 2008 were higher compared to fiscal 2007 primarily due to lower cost of goods sold as a percentage of sales, partially offset by higher SG&A expenses as a percentage of sales.
 
Earnings per share. Diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2009 was $3.54, compared to $2.33 in fiscal 2008. This 52% increase in diluted earnings per share is attributable to an approximate 45% increase in net earnings and a 5% reduction in weighted average diluted shares outstanding, largely due to the repurchase of common stock under our stock repurchase program. Diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2008 was $2.33, compared to $1.90 in fiscal 2007. This 23% increase in diluted earnings per share is attributable to an approximate 17% increase in net earnings and a 4% reduction in weighted average diluted shares outstanding, largely due to the repurchase of common stock under our stock repurchase program.
 
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Financial Condition
 
Liquidity and Capital Resources
 
Our primary sources of funds for our business activities are cash flows from operations and short-term trade credit. Our primary ongoing cash requirements are for merchandise inventory purchases, payroll, capital expenditures in connection with opening new stores, and investments in distribution centers and information systems. We also use cash to repurchase stock under our stock repurchase program and to pay dividends.
 
   ($ millions)       2009       2008       2007   
Cash flows provided by operating activities $ 888.4 $ 583.4 $ 353.5
Cash flows used in investing activities (136.8 ) (218.7 ) (244.7 )
Cash flows used in financing activities  (304.6 )  (300.9 ) (218.6 )
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents $ 447.0 $ 63.8 $  (109.8 )
 

Operating Activities
 
Net cash provided by operating activities was $888.4 million, $583.4 million, and $353.5 million in fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, respectively. The primary sources of cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007 were net earnings plus non-cash expenses for depreciation and amortization. Accounts payable leverage (defined as accounts payable divided by merchandise inventory) was 75% as of January 30, 2010 and 61% as of January 31, 2009. The increase in leverage was due to faster turns on lower inventory levels.
 
Our primary source of liquidity is the sale of our merchandise inventory. We regularly review the age and condition of our merchandise and are able to maintain current merchandise inventory in our stores through replenishment processes and liquidation of slower-moving merchandise through clearance markdowns.
 
Investing Activities
 
In fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, our capital expenditures were $158.5 million, $224.4 million, and $236.1 million, respectively. Our capital expenditures included fixtures and leasehold improvements to open new stores, implement information technology systems, build or expand distribution centers, and various other expenditures related to our stores, buying and corporate offices. In fiscal 2008 we also purchased land in South Carolina with the intention of building a new distribution center in the future. We opened 56, 77, and 98 new stores in fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, respectively, which included relocating one store in 2009 and one store in 2007.
 
We had purchases of investments of $2.9 million, $37.0 million, and $146.1 million in fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, respectively. We had sales of investments of $24.5 million, $42.5 million, and $137.1 million in fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, respectively.
 
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We are forecasting approximately $215 million in capital requirements in 2010 to fund expenditures for fixtures and leasehold improvements to open both new Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS stores, for the relocation, or upgrade of existing stores, for investments in store and merchandising systems, buildings, equipment and systems, and for various buying and corporate office expenditures. We expect to fund these expenditures with available cash, cash flows from operations, and trade credit.
 
Our capital expenditures over the last three years are set forth in the table below:
 
   ($ millions)       2009       2008       2007   
New stores $ 55.4 $ 52.0 $ 110.1
Store renovations and improvements 44.3 47.3 32.3
Information systems 10.4 13.2 21.4
Distribution centers, corporate office, and other 48.4 111.9 72.3
Total capital expenditures $  158.5 $  224.4 $  236.1
 

Financing Activities
 
During fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, our liquidity and capital requirements were provided by available cash, cash flows from operations, and trade credit. Our buying offices, our corporate headquarters, one distribution center, one trailer parking lot, three warehouse facilities, and all but two of our store locations are leased and, except for certain leasehold improvements and equipment, do not represent capital investments. We own one distribution center in each of the following cities: Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Moreno Valley, California; and Fort Mill, South Carolina; and one warehouse facility in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
 
In January 2008, our Board of Directors approved a two-year $600 million stock repurchase program for fiscal 2008 and 2009. We repurchased 7.4 million and 9.3 million shares of common stock for aggregate purchase prices of approximately $300 million in both 2009 and 2008. In January 2010, our Board of Directors approved a two-year $750 million stock repurchase program for fiscal 2010 and 2011.
 
In January 2010, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend payment of $.16 per common share, payable on March 31, 2010. Our Board of Directors declared quarterly cash dividends of $.11 per common share in January, May, August, and November 2009, and cash dividends of $.095 per common share in January, May, August, and November 2008.
 
Short-term trade credit represents a significant source of financing for merchandise inventory. Trade credit arises from customary payment terms and trade practices with our vendors. We regularly review the adequacy of credit available to us from all sources and expect to be able to maintain adequate trade, bank, and other credit lines to meet our capital and liquidity requirements, including lease payment obligations in 2010.
 
We estimate that cash flows from operations, bank credit lines, and trade credit are adequate to meet operating cash needs, fund our planned capital investments, repurchase common stock, and make quarterly dividend payments for at least the next twelve months.
 
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Contractual Obligations
 
The table below presents our significant contractual obligations as of January 30, 2010:
 
   Less than 1 After 5   
($000)       year       1 - 3 years       3 - 5 years       years       Total1
Senior Notes $ - $ - $ - $ 150,000 $ 150,000
Interest payment obligations 9,667 19,335 19,335 50,195 98,532
Capital leases 291 45 - - 336
Operating leases:
     Rent obligations 333,077 660,350 502,136 500,278 1,995,841
     Synthetic leases 5,681 8,886 1,705 - 16,272
     Other synthetic lease obligations 1,564 1,030 56,000 - 58,594
Purchase obligations 1,078,071 7,886 831 - 1,086,788
Total contractual obligations $  1,428,351 $  697,532 $  580,007 $  700,473 $  3,406,363
 

1 We have a $33.6 million liability for unrecognized tax benefits that is included in other long-term liabilities on our consolidated balance sheet. This liability is excluded from the schedule above as the timing of payments cannot be reasonably estimated.
 
Senior Notes. We have two series of unsecured senior notes outstanding with various institutional investors for $150 million. The Series A notes totaling $85 million are due in December 2018 and bear interest at a rate of 6.38%. The Series B notes totaling $65 million, are due in December 2021, and bear interest at a rate of 6.53%. Interest on these notes is included in Interest payment obligations in the table above. These notes are subject to prepayment penalties for early payment of principal.
 
Borrowings under these notes are subject to certain operating and financial covenants, including maintaining certain interest coverage and other financial ratios. As of January 30, 2010, we were in compliance with these covenants.
 
Capital leases. The obligations under capital leases relate to distribution center equipment and have terms of two to three years.
 
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
 
Operating leases. We lease our two buying offices, our corporate headquarters, one distribution center, one trailer parking lot, three warehouse facilities, and all but two of our store locations. Except for certain leasehold improvements and equipment, these leased locations do not represent long-term capital investments.
 
We have lease arrangements for certain equipment in our stores for our point-of-sale (“POS”) hardware and software systems. These leases are accounted for as operating leases for financial reporting purposes. The initial terms of these leases are either two or three years, and we typically have options to renew the leases for two to three one-year periods. Alternatively, we may purchase or return the equipment at the end of the initial or each renewal term. We have guaranteed the value of the equipment of $2.6 million, at the end of the respective initial lease terms, which is included in Other synthetic lease obligations in the table above.
 
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We lease approximately 181,000 square feet of office space for our corporate headquarters in Pleasanton, California, under several facility leases. The terms for these leases expire between 2011 and 2015 and contain renewal provisions.
 
We lease approximately 197,000 and 26,000 square feet of office space for our New York City and Los Angeles buying offices, respectively. The lease terms for these facilities expire in 2021 and 2014, respectively and contain renewal provisions.
 
We lease a 1.3 million square foot distribution center in Perris, California. The land and building for this distribution center are financed under a $70 million ten-year synthetic lease that expires in July 2013. Rent expense on this center is payable monthly at a fixed annual rate of 5.8% on the lease balance of $70 million. At the end of the lease term, we have the option to either refinance the $70 million synthetic lease facility, purchase the distribution center at the amount of the then-outstanding lease obligation, or arrange a sale of the distribution center to a third party. If the distribution center is sold to a third party for less than $70 million, we have agreed under a residual value guarantee to pay the lessor any shortfall amount up to $56 million. The agreement includes a prepayment penalty for early payoff of the lease. Our contractual obligation of $56 million is included in Other synthetic lease obligations in the above table.
 
We have recognized a liability and corresponding asset for the inception date estimated fair value of the residual value guarantee in the amount of $8.3 million for the Perris, California distribution center and $0.9 million for the POS leases. These residual value guarantees are being amortized on a straight-line basis over the original terms of the leases. The current portion of the related asset and liability is recorded in prepaid expenses and accrued expenses, respectively, and the long-term portion of the related assets and liabilities is recorded in other long-term assets and other long-term liabilities, respectively, in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.
 
We lease two warehouses in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with one lease expiring in 2013 and the other expiring in 2014. In January 2009, we exercised a three-year option for a 255,000 square foot warehouse in Fort Mill, South Carolina, extending the term to February 2013. In June 2008, we purchased a 423,000 square foot warehouse also in Fort Mill, South Carolina. All four of these properties are used to store our packaway inventory. We also lease a 10-acre parcel of land that has been developed for trailer parking adjacent to our Perris distribution center.
 
The synthetic lease facilities described above, as well as our revolving credit facility and senior notes, have covenant restrictions requiring us to maintain certain interest coverage and other financial ratios. In addition, the interest rates under the revolving credit facility may vary depending on actual interest coverage ratios achieved. As of January 30, 2010, we were in compliance with these covenants.
 
Purchase obligations. As of January 30, 2010 we had purchase obligations of $1,087 million. These purchase obligations primarily consist of merchandise inventory purchase orders, commitments related to store fixtures and supplies, and information technology service and maintenance contracts. Merchandise inventory purchase orders of $1,044 million represent purchase obligations of less than one year as of January 30, 2010.
 
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Commercial Credit Facilities
 
The table below presents our significant available commercial credit facilities at January 30, 2010:
 
   Amount of Commitment Expiration Per Period Total   
Less than 1 - 3 3 – 5 After 5 amount
($000)       1 year       years       years       years       committed
Revolving credit facility $ - $ 600,000 $ - $ - $ 600,000
     Total commercial commitments $ - $  600,000 $ - $ - $  600,000
 
For additional information relating to this credit facility, refer to Note D of Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Revolving credit facility. We have available a $600 million revolving credit facility with our banks, which contains a $300 million sublimit for issuance of standby letters of credit, of which $234.8 million was available at January 30, 2010. This credit facility which expires in July 2011 has a LIBOR-based interest rate plus an applicable margin (currently 45 basis points) and is payable upon maturity but not less than quarterly. Our borrowing ability under this credit facility is subject to our maintaining certain financial ratios. As of January 30, 2010 we had no borrowings outstanding under this facility and were in compliance with the covenants.
 
Standby letters of credit. We use standby letters of credit to collateralize certain obligations related to our self-insured workers’ compensation and general liability claims. We had $65.2 million and $60.4 million in standby letters of credit outstanding at January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, respectively.
 
Trade letters of credit. We had $32.9 million and $16.7 million in trade letters of credit outstanding at January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, respectively.
 
Other
 
2008 Equity Incentive Plan. In May 2008, our stockholders approved the adoption of the Ross Stores, Inc. 2008 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2008 Plan”) with an initial share reserve of 8.3 million shares of our common stock, of which 6.0 million shares can be issued as full value awards. The 2008 Plan provides for various types of incentive awards, which may potentially include the grant of stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock purchase rights, restricted stock bonuses, restricted stock units, performance shares, performance units, and deferred compensation awards.
 
Critical Accounting Policies
 
The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires our management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts. These estimates and assumptions are evaluated on an ongoing basis and are based on historical experience and on various other factors that management believes to be reasonable. We believe the following critical accounting policies describe the more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements.
 
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Merchandise inventory. Our merchandise inventory is stated at the lower of cost or market, with cost determined on a weighted average cost basis. We purchase manufacturer overruns and canceled orders both during and at the end of a season which are referred to as "packaway" inventory. Packaway inventory is purchased with the intent that it will be stored in our warehouses until a later date, which may even be the beginning of the same selling season in the following year. Packaway inventory accounted for approximately 38% of total inventories as of January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009. Merchandise inventory includes acquisition, processing, and storage costs related to packaway inventory.
 
Included in the carrying value of our merchandise inventory is a provision for shortage. The shortage reserve is based on historical shortage rates as evaluated through our periodic physical merchandise inventory counts and cycle counts. If actual market conditions, markdowns, or shortage are less favorable than those projected by us, or if sales of the merchandise inventory are more difficult than anticipated, additional merchandise inventory write-downs may be required.
 
Long-lived assets. We record a long-lived asset impairment charge when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of a long-lived asset may not be recoverable based on estimated future cash flows. An impairment loss would be recognized if analysis of the undiscounted cash flow of an asset group was less than the carrying value of the asset group. If our actual results differ materially from projected results, an impairment charge may be required in the future. In the course of performing our annual analysis, we determined that no long-lived asset impairment charge was required for fiscal 2009, 2008, or 2007.
 
Depreciation and amortization expense. Property and equipment are stated at cost, less accumulated depreciation and amortization. Depreciation is calculated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the asset, typically ranging from five to twelve years for equipment and 20 to 40 years for real property. The cost of leasehold improvements is amortized over the lesser of the useful life of the asset or the applicable lease term.
 
Lease accounting. When a lease contains “rent holidays” or requires fixed escalations of the minimum lease payments, we record rental expense on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease and the difference between the average rental amount charged to expense and the amount payable under the lease is recorded as deferred rent. We amortize deferred rent on a straight-line basis over the lease term commencing on the possession date. Tenant improvement allowances are included in other long-term liabilities and are amortized over the lease term. Tenant improvement allowances are included as a component of operating cash flows in the consolidated Statements of Cash Flows.
 
Self-insurance. We self insure certain of our workers’ compensation and general liability risks as well as certain coverages under our health plans. Our self-insurance liability is determined actuarially, based on claims filed and an estimate of claims incurred but not reported. Should a greater amount of claims occur compared to what is estimated or the costs of medical care increase beyond what was anticipated, our recorded reserves may not be sufficient and additional charges could be required.
 
Stock-based compensation. We recognize compensation expense based upon the grant date fair value of all stock-based awards, typically over the vesting period. We use historical data to estimate pre-vesting forfeitures and to recognize stock-based compensation expense. All stock-based compensation awards are expensed over the service or performance periods of the awards.
 
Income taxes. We account for our uncertain tax positions in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 740. We are required to make assumptions and judgments regarding our income tax exposures. Our policy is to recognize interest and/or penalties related to all tax positions in income tax expense. To the extent that accrued interest and penalties do not ultimately become payable, amounts accrued will be reduced and reflected as a reduction of the overall income tax provision in the period that such determination is made.
 
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The critical accounting policies noted above are not intended to be a comprehensive list of all of our accounting policies. In many cases, the accounting treatment of a particular transaction is specifically dictated by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”), with no need for management’s judgment in their application. There are also areas in which management’s judgment in selecting one alternative accounting principle over another would not produce a materially different result. See our audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto under Item 8 in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which contain accounting policies and other disclosures required by GAAP.
 
Effects of inflation or deflation. We do not consider the effects of inflation or deflation to be material to our financial position and results of operations.
 
New Accounting Pronouncements
 
In June 2009, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued ASC 810 (originally issued as SFAS No. 167, “Amendments to FASB Interpretation No. 46(R))”. Among other things, ASC 810 responds to concerns about the application of certain key provisions of FIN 46(R), including those regarding the transparency of the involvement with variable interest entities. ASC 810 is effective for fiscal years beginning after November 15, 2009. We do not believe the adoption of ASC 810 will have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
 
Forward-Looking Statements
 
Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2009, and information we provide in our Annual Report to Stockholders, press releases, telephonic reports, and other investor communications including on our corporate website, may contain a number of forward-looking statements regarding, without limitation, planned store growth, new markets, expected sales, projected earnings levels, capital expenditures, and other matters. These forward-looking statements reflect our then current beliefs, projections, and estimates with respect to future events and our projected financial performance, operations, and competitive position. The words “plan,” “expect,” “target,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” “forecast,” “projected,” “guidance,” “looking ahead,” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.
 
Future economic and industry trends that could potentially impact revenue, profitability, and growth remain difficult to predict. As a result, our forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those forward-looking statements and our previous expectations and projections. Refer to Item 1A in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a more complete discussion of risk factors for Ross and dd’s DISCOUNTS. The factors underlying our forecasts are dynamic and subject to change. As a result, any forecasts or forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are given and do not necessarily reflect our outlook at any other point in time. We do not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements.
 
ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.
 
We are exposed to market risks, which primarily include changes in interest rates. We do not engage in financial transactions for trading or speculative purposes.
 
We occasionally use forward contracts to hedge against fluctuations in foreign currency prices. We had no outstanding forward contracts as of January 30, 2010.
 
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Interest that is payable on our revolving credit facility is based on variable interest rates and is, therefore, affected by changes in market interest rates. As of January 30, 2010, we had no borrowings outstanding under our revolving credit facility. In addition, lease payments under certain of our synthetic lease agreements are determined based on variable interest rates and are, therefore, affected by changes in market interest rates.
 
In addition, we issued notes to institutional investors in two series: Series A for $85 million accrues interest at 6.38% and Series B for $65 million accrues interest at 6.53%. The amount outstanding under these notes as of January 30, 2010 is $150 million.
 
Interest is receivable on our short- and long-term investments. Changes in interest rates may impact interest income recognized in the future, or the fair value of our investment portfolio.
 
A hypothetical 100 basis point increase or decrease in prevailing market interest rates would not have materially impacted our consolidated financial position, results of operations, cash flows, or the fair values of our short- and long-term investments as of and for the year ended January 30, 2010. We do not consider the potential losses in future earnings and cash flows from reasonably possible, near term changes in interest rates to be material.
 
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ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA.
 
Consolidated Statements of Earnings
 
Year ended Year ended Year ended
($000, except per share data)       January 30, 2010       January 31, 2009       February 2, 2008
Sales        $  7,184,213           $  6,486,139           $  5,975,212
 
Costs and Expenses
     Costs of goods sold 5,327,278 4,956,576 4,618,220
     Selling, general and administrative 1,130,813 1,034,357 935,901
     Interest expense (income), net 7,593 (157 ) (4,029 )
          Total costs and expenses  6,465,684 5,990,776 5,550,092
 
Earnings before taxes 718,529 495,363 425,120
Provision for taxes on earnings 275,772 189,922 164,069
Net earnings $ 442,757 $ 305,441 $ 261,051
 
Earnings per share
     Basic $ 3.60 $ 2.36 $ 1.93
     Diluted $ 3.54 $ 2.33 $ 1.90
 
 
Weighted average shares outstanding (000)
     Basic 122,887 129,235 135,093
     Diluted 125,014 131,315 137,142
 
 
Dividends
     Cash dividends declared per share $ 0.490 $ 0.395 $ 0.320
 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
 
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Consolidated Balance Sheets
 
($000, except share data)       January 30, 2010       January 31, 2009
Assets  
                 
Current Assets  
     Cash and cash equivalents $ 768,343 $ 321,355
     Short-term investments 1,754 798
     Accounts receivable 44,234 41,170
     Merchandise inventory 872,498 881,058
     Prepaid expenses and other 58,618 55,241
     Deferred income taxes - 14,093
          Total current assets 1,745,447 1,313,715
 
Property and Equipment
     Land and buildings 239,688 201,385
     Fixtures and equipment 1,189,538 1,073,990
     Leasehold improvements 536,979 509,971
     Construction-in-progress 21,812 72,839
  1,988,017 1,858,185
     Less accumulated depreciation and amortization 1,045,018 906,529
          Property and equipment, net 942,999 951,656
Long-term investments 16,848 38,014
Other long-term assets 63,339 52,126
Total assets $  2,768,633 $  2,355,511
                 
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity
                 
Current Liabilities
     Accounts payable $ 658,299 $ 536,745
     Accrued expenses and other 259,582 238,516
     Accrued payroll and benefits 218,234 170,878
     Income taxes payable 51,505 9,120
     Deferred income taxes 2,894 -
          Total current liabilities 1,190,514 955,259
Long-term debt 150,000 150,000
Other long-term liabilities 174,543 156,726
Deferred income taxes 96,283 97,157
Commitments and contingencies
                 
Stockholders’ Equity
     Common stock, par value $.01 per share 1,229 1,273
          Authorized 600,000,000 shares
          Issued and outstanding 122,929,000 and
          127,346,000 shares, respectively.
     Additional paid-in capital 681,908 626,117
     Treasury stock (36,864 ) (30,819 )
     Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) 170 (1,174 )
     Retained earnings 510,850 400,972
Total stockholders’ equity 1,157,293 996,369
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity           $ 2,768,633         $ 2,355,511
 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
 
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Consolidated Statements of Stockholders' Equity
Accumulated
Additional other
Common stock paid-in Treasury comprehensive Retained
(000)    Shares    Amount    capital    stock    income (loss)    earnings    Total
Balance at February 3, 2007 139,356 $ 1,402   $ 545,702 $ (22,031 )   $ (163 ) $ 384,920   $ 909,830
Cumulative effect of adoption of new - - -   - - (7,417 ) (7,417 )
     accounting standard
Comprehensive income:
     Net earnings - - - - - 261,051 261,051
     Unrealized investment gain -   - - - 1,503 - 1,503
Total comprehensive income 262,554
Common stock issued under stock
     plans, net of shares
     used for tax withholding 1,612 8 20,745 (3,879 ) - - 16,874
Tax benefit from equity issuance - - 6,535 - - - 6,535
Stock based compensation - - 25,165 - - - 25,165
Common stock repurchased (6,872 ) (69 ) (20,360 ) - - (179,571 ) (200,000 )
Dividends declared - - - - - (42,892 ) (42,892 )
                                                         
Balance at February 2, 2008 134,096 $ 1,341 $ 577,787 $ (25,910 )   $ 1,340 $ 416,091 $ 970,649
Comprehensive income:
     Net earnings - - - - - 305,441 305,441
     Unrealized investment loss - - - - (2,514 ) - (2,514 )
Total comprehensive income 302,927
Common stock issued under stock
     plans, net of shares
     used for tax withholding 2,598 25 47,848 (4,909 ) - - 42,964
Tax benefit from equity issuance - - 8,532 - - - 8,532
Stock based compensation - - 22,575 - - - 22,575
Common stock repurchased (9,348 ) (93 ) (30,625 ) - - (269,282 ) (300,000 )
Dividends declared - - - - - (51,278 ) (51,278 )
                                                         
Balance at January 31, 2009 127,346 $ 1,273 $ 626,117 $ (30,819 )   $ (1,174 ) $ 400,972 $ 996,369
Comprehensive income:
     Net earnings - - - - - 442,757 442,757
     Unrealized investment gain - - - - 1,344 - 1,344
Total comprehensive income 444,101
Common stock issued under stock
     plans, net of shares
     used for tax withholding 2,958 30 49,363 (6,045 ) - - 43,348
Tax benefit from equity issuance - - 8,582 - - - 8,582
Stock based compensation - - 25,746 - - - 25,746
Common stock repurchased (7,375 ) (74 ) (27,900 ) - -  (272,026 ) (300,000 )
Dividends declared - - - - - (60,853 ) (60,853 )
Balance at January 30, 2010 122,929 $  1,229 $  681,908 $  (36,864 )   $ 170 $ 510,850 $  1,157,293
 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

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Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
 
Year ended Year ended Year ended
($000)       January 30, 2010       January 31, 2009       February 2, 2008
Cash Flows From Operating Activities    
Net earnings             $ 442,757             $ 305,441             $ 261,051
Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net cash
provided by operating activities:
     Depreciation and amortization 159,043 141,802 122,801
     Stock-based compensation 25,746 22,575 25,165
     Deferred income taxes 16,113 23,804 (10,699 )
     Tax benefit from equity issuance 8,582 8,532 6,535
     Excess tax benefit from stock-based compensation (7,291 ) (5,973 ) (5,140 )
     Change in assets and liabilities:
          Merchandise inventory 8,560 144,237 26,434
          Other current assets (6,441 ) (6,089 ) (15,039 )
          Accounts payable 115,893 (101,682 ) (63,199 )
          Other current liabilities 118,980 43,249 (18,716 )
          Other long-term, net 6,442 7,543 24,366
          Net cash provided by operating activities 888,384 583,439 353,559
 
Cash Flows From Investing Activities
Additions to property and equipment (158,487 ) (224,418 ) (236,121 )
Proceeds from sales of property and equipment 10 117 356
Purchases of investments (2,904 ) (36,984 ) (146,082 )
Proceeds from investments 24,548 42,522 137,104
          Net cash used in investing activities (136,833 ) (218,763 ) (244,743 )
 
Cash Flows From Financing Activities
Excess tax benefit from stock-based compensation 7,291 5,973 5,140
Issuance of common stock related to stock plans 49,393 47,873 20,753
Treasury stock purchased (6,045 ) (4,909 ) (3,879 )
Repurchase of common stock (300,000 ) (300,000 ) (200,000 )
Dividends paid (55,202 ) (49,838 ) (40,638 )
          Net cash used in financing activities  (304,563 )  (300,901 )  (218,624 )
 
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents 446,988 63,775 (109,808 )
 
Cash and cash equivalents:
          Beginning of year 321,355 257,580 367,388
          End of year $ 768,343 $ 321,355 $ 257,580
 
Supplemental Cash Flow Disclosures
Interest paid $ 9,668 $ 9,676 $ 9,668
Income taxes paid $ 201,232 $ 167,478 $ 164,223
 
Non-Cash Investing Activities
Increase (decrease) in fair value of investment securities $ 1,435 $ (2,514 ) $ 1,503
 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
 
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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 
Note A: Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
 
Business. Ross Stores, Inc. and its subsidiaries (the “Company”) is an off-price retailer of first-quality, name brand apparel, shoes, and accessories for the entire family, as well as gift items, linens and other home-related merchandise. At the end of fiscal 2009, the Company operated 953 Ross Dress for Less® (“Ross”) locations in 27 states and Guam and 52 dd’s DISCOUNTS® stores in four states, all of which are supported by four distribution centers. The Company’s headquarters, one buying office, two distribution centers and 26% of its stores are located in California.
 
Segment reporting. The Company has one reportable segment. The Company’s operations include only activities related to off-price retailing in stores throughout the United States.
 
Basis of presentation and fiscal year. The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its subsidiaries, all of which are wholly-owned. Intercompany transactions and accounts have been eliminated. The Company follows the National Retail Federation fiscal calendar and utilizes a 52-53 week fiscal year whereby the fiscal year ends on the Saturday nearest to January 31. The fiscal years ended January 30, 2010, January 31, 2009 and February 2, 2008 are referred to as fiscal 2009, fiscal 2008, and fiscal 2007, respectively, and were 52 weeks.
 
Use of accounting estimates. The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”) requires the Company to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, and disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The Company’s significant accounting estimates include valuation of merchandise inventory and long-lived assets and accruals for self-insurance.
 
Purchase obligations. As of January 30, 2010, the Company had purchase obligations of approximately $1,087 million. These purchase obligations primarily consist of merchandise inventory purchase orders, commitments related to store fixtures and supplies, and information technology service and maintenance contracts. Merchandise inventory purchase orders of $1,044 million represent purchase obligations of less than one year as of January 30, 2010.
 
Cash and cash equivalents. Cash equivalents consist of highly liquid, fixed income instruments purchased with an original maturity of three months or less.
 
Investments. The Company’s investments are comprised of various debt securities. At January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, these investments were classified as available-for-sale and are stated at fair value. Investments are classified as either short- or long-term based on their original maturities and the Company’s intent. Investments with an original maturity of less than one year are classified as short-term. See Note B for additional information.
 
Merchandise inventory. Merchandise inventory is stated at the lower of cost (determined using a weighted average basis) or net realizable value. The Company purchases manufacturer overruns and canceled orders both during and at the end of a season which are referred to as "packaway" inventory. Packaway inventory is purchased with the intent that it will be stored in the Company's warehouses until a later date, which may even be the beginning of the same selling season in the following year. Packaway inventory accounted for approximately 38% of total inventories as of January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009. The cost of the Company’s merchandise inventory is reduced by valuation reserves for shortage based on historical shortage experience from the Company’s physical merchandise inventory counts and cycle counts. Merchandise inventory includes acquisition, processing, and storage costs related to packaway inventory.
 
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Cost of goods sold. In addition to product costs, the Company includes in cost of goods sold its buying, distribution and freight expenses as well as occupancy costs, and depreciation and amortization related to the Company’s retail stores, buying and distribution facilities. Buying expenses include costs to procure merchandise inventories. Distribution expenses include the cost of operating the Company’s distribution centers.
 
Property and equipment. Property and equipment, which include amounts recorded under capital leases, are stated at cost, less accumulated depreciation and amortization. Depreciation is calculated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the asset, typically ranging from five to twelve years for equipment and 20 to 40 years for real property. Depreciation and amortization expense on property and equipment was $153.1 million, $134.0 million and $120.7 million for fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, respectively. The cost of leasehold improvements is amortized over the useful life of the asset or the applicable lease term, whichever is less. Computer hardware and software costs, net of amortization, of $106.7 million and $125.8 million at January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, respectively, are included in fixtures and equipment and are amortized over their estimated useful life generally ranging from five to seven years. Capital leases, net of depreciation, of $0.6 million at January 30, 2010 consist of distribution center equipment and have terms of two to three years. The Company capitalizes interest during the construction period. Interest capitalized was $1.8 million and $3.2 million in fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2008, respectively.
 
Other long-term assets. Other long-term assets as of January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009 consisted of the following:
 
 
  ($000)       2009       2008  
  Deferred compensation (Note B) $  50,706 $  37,304  
  Goodwill 2,889 2,889  
  Deposits 3,000 3,851  
  Other 6,744 8,082  
  Total $ 63,339 $ 52,126  
 

Other assets are principally comprised of prepaid rent and other long term prepayments.
 
Property, other long-term assets, and certain identifiable intangibles that are subject to amortization are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Intangible assets that are not subject to amortization, including goodwill, are tested for impairment annually or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset may be impaired. Based on the Company’s evaluation during fiscal 2009, fiscal 2008, and fiscal 2007, no impairment charges were recorded.
 
Store closures. The Company continually reviews the operating performance of individual stores. For stores that are closed, the Company records a liability for future minimum lease payments net of estimated sublease recoveries and related ancillary costs at the time the liability is incurred. In 2009, the Company closed three Ross Dress for Less and four dd’s DISCOUNTS locations. In 2008, the Company closed six Ross Dress for Less and five dd’s DISCOUNTS locations. The lease loss liability related to certain of these closed stores was $6.2 million and $1.0 million, as of January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, respectively. Operating costs, including depreciation, of stores to be closed are expensed during the period they remain in use.
 
Accounts payable. Accounts payable represents amounts owed to third parties at the end of the period. Accounts payable includes book cash overdrafts (checks issued under zero balance accounts not yet presented for payment) in excess of cash balances in such accounts of approximately $125.7 million and $97.2 million at January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, respectively. The Company includes the change in book cash overdrafts in operating cash flows.
 
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Self-insurance. The Company is self-insured for workers’ compensation, general liability insurance costs and costs of certain medical plans. The self-insurance liability is determined actuarially, based on claims filed and an estimate of claims incurred but not yet reported. Self-insurance reserves as of January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009 consisted of the following:
 
 
  ($000)       2009       2008  
  Workers’ Compensation $  61,525 $  57,466  
  General Liability   19,196 18,294  
  Medical Plans 3,107 3,166  
  Total $ 83,828 $ 78,926  
 

Workers’ compensation and self-insured medical plan liabilities are included in accrued payroll and benefits and accruals for general liability are included in accrued expenses and other in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.
 
Other long-term liabilities. Other long-term liabilities as of January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009 consisted of the following:
 
 
  ($000)       2009       2008  
  Deferred rent $ 58,954 $ 57,428  
  Deferred compensation 50,706 37,304  
  Tenant improvement allowances 26,559 29,818  
  Income taxes (See Note F) 33,570 26,019  
  Other 4,754 6,157  
  Total $  174,543 $  156,726  
 

Lease accounting. When a lease contains “rent holidays” or requires fixed escalations of the minimum lease payments, the Company records rental expense on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease and the difference between the average rental amount charged to expense and the amount payable under the lease is recorded as deferred rent. The Company amortizes deferred rent on a straight-line basis over the lease term commencing on the possession date. Tenant improvement allowances are included in other long-term liabilities and are amortized over the lease term. Changes in tenant improvement allowances are included as a component of operating activities in the consolidated statements of cash flows.
 
Estimated fair value of financial instruments. The carrying value of cash and cash equivalents, short- and long-term investments, accounts receivable, and accounts payable approximates their estimated fair value. See Note B and Note D for additional fair value information.
 
Revenue recognition. The Company recognizes revenue at the point of sale and maintains an allowance for estimated future returns. Sales of gift cards are deferred until they are redeemed for the purchase of Company merchandise. Sales tax collected is not recognized as revenue and is included in accrued expenses and other.
 
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Allowance for sales returns. An allowance for the gross margin loss on estimated sales returns is included in accrued expenses and other in the consolidated balance sheets. The allowance for sales returns consists of the following:
 
   ($000)       Beginning balance       Additions       Returns       Ending balance   
Year ended:      
January 30, 2010   $  4,702 $  506,249 $  (505,607 )   $  5,344
January 31, 2009 $ 4,559 $ 452,035 $ (451,892 ) $ 4,702
February 2, 2008 $ 4,320 $ 408,434 $ (408,195 ) $ 4,559
 

Store pre-opening. Store pre-opening costs are expensed in the period incurred.
 
Advertising. Advertising costs are expensed in the period incurred. Advertising costs for fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007 were $53.5 million, $53.9 million, and $50.2 million, respectively.
 
Stock-based compensation. The Company recognizes compensation expense based upon the grant date fair value of all stock-based awards, typically over the vesting period. See Note C for more information on the Company’s stock-based compensation plans.
 
Taxes on earnings. The Company accounts for income taxes in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 740-10, “Accounting for Income Taxes,” which requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been recognized in the Company's consolidated financial statements or tax returns. In estimating future tax consequences, the Company generally considers all expected future events other than changes in the tax law or tax rates. ASC 740-10 also clarifies the criteria that an individual tax position must satisfy for some or all of the benefits of that position to be recognized in a company’s consolidated financial statements and prescribes a recognition threshold of more-likely-than-not, and a measurement standard for all tax positions taken or expected to be taken on a tax return, in order for those tax positions to be recognized in the consolidated financial statements. See Note F.
 
Treasury stock. The Company records treasury stock at cost. Treasury stock includes shares purchased from employees for tax withholding purposes related to vesting of restricted stock grants.
 
Earnings per share (“EPS”). The Company computes and reports both basic EPS and diluted EPS. Basic EPS is computed by dividing net earnings by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding for the period. Diluted EPS is computed by dividing net earnings by the sum of the weighted average number of common shares and dilutive common stock equivalents outstanding during the period. Diluted EPS reflects the total potential dilution that could occur from outstanding equity plan awards, including unexercised stock options and unvested shares of both performance and non-performance based awards of restricted stock.
 
In fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007 there were 19,800, 583,000, and 1,277,000 weighted average shares, respectively, that could potentially dilute basic EPS in the future that were excluded from the calculation of diluted EPS because their effect would have been anti-dilutive for those years.
 
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The following is a reconciliation of the number of shares (denominator) used in the basic and diluted EPS computations:
 
Effect of dilutive
Basic common stock Diluted
   Shares in (000s)       EPS       equivalents       EPS   
  2009  
     Shares 122,887 2,127 125,014
     Amount $ 3.60 $ (.06 ) $ 3.54
 
2008
     Shares  129,235   2,080 131,315
     Amount $ 2.36 $ (.03 ) $ 2.33
 
2007
     Shares 135,093 2,049  137,142
     Amount $ 1.93 $ (.03 ) $ 1.90
   

Sales mix. The Company’s sales mix is shown below for fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007:
 
        2009       2008       2007
   Ladies 30% 32% 32%   
Home accents and bed and bath 24% 23% 23%  
Men’s 13% 14% 15%  
Accessories, lingerie, fine jewelry, and fragrances 13% 12% 11%  
Shoes 11% 10% 10%  
Children’s 9% 9% 9%  
Total      100%      100%      100%  
 

Comprehensive income. Comprehensive income consists of net earnings and other comprehensive income, principally unrealized investment gains or losses. Components of comprehensive income are presented in the consolidated statements of stockholders’ equity.
 
New accounting standards. In June 2009, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued ASC 810 (originally issued as SFAS No. 167, “Amendments to FASB Interpretation No. 46(R))”. Among other things, ASC 810 responds to concerns about the application of certain key provisions of FIN 46(R), including those regarding the transparency of the involvement with variable interest entities. ASC 810 is effective for fiscal years beginning after November 15, 2009. The Company does not believe the adoption of ASC 810 will have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
 
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Note B: Investments
 
The amortized cost and fair value of the Company’s available-for-sale securities as of January 30, 2010 were:
 
Amortized Unrealized Unrealized Fair Short- Long-
   ($000)       cost       gains       losses       value          term       term   
Auction-rate securities $ 1,050 $ -       $ (158 ) $ 892 $ - $ 892
Corporate securities 9,704   567 (67 )   10,204 1,073   9,131
U.S. Government and agency    
     securities 5,247 30 (187 ) 5,090 - 5,090
Mortgage-backed securities 2,340 79 (3 ) 2,416 681 1,735
Total $  18,341 $  676 $  (415 ) $  18,602 $  1,754 $  16,848
 

The amortized cost and fair value of the Company’s available-for-sale securities as of January 31, 2009 were:
 
Amortized Unrealized Unrealized  Fair Short- Long-
   ($000)       cost       gains       losses       value          term       term   
Auction-rate securities $ 1,100 $ -   $ - $ 1,100 $ - $ 1,100
Asset-backed securities 984   5 (200 ) 789 389 400
Corporate securities 13,773 152   (685 ) 13,240 - 13,240
U.S. Government and agency
     securities 15,940 446 - 16,386 - 16,386
Mortgage-backed securities 8,189 119 (1,011 ) 7,297 409 6,888
Total $  39,986 $  722     $  (1,896 ) $  38,812 $  798 $  38,014
 

At January 30, 2010, the Company had investments of approximately $18.3 million of which $5.0 million had gross unrealized losses of $0.2 million that had been in a continuous unrealized loss position for more than twelve months. Of the remaining $13.3 million, $3.0 million of investments had gross unrealized losses of $0.2 million which had been in a continuous unrealized loss position for less than twelve months. These unrealized losses on investments were caused primarily by the decline in market values of floating rate corporate and auction rate securities and the impact of interest yield fluctuations on long-term treasury securities. The Company does not consider these investments to be other than temporarily impaired at January 30, 2010.
 
In applying the valuation principles to financial assets and liabilities, a three-tier fair value hierarchy was used to prioritize the inputs used in the valuation methodologies as follows:
 
Level 1—Observable inputs that reflect quoted prices (unadjusted) for identical assets or liabilities in active markets.
 
Level 2—Include other inputs that are directly or indirectly observable in the marketplace.
 
Level 3—Unobservable inputs which are supported by little or no market activity.
 
This fair value hierarchy also requires the Company to maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs when measuring fair value. Asset-backed, corporate, U.S. Government and agency, and mortgage-backed securities are classified within Level 1 or Level 2 because these securities are valued using quoted market prices or alternative pricing sources and models utilizing market observable inputs. The Company’s investment in auction rate securities is classified within Level 3 because these are valued using valuation techniques for which some of the inputs to these models are unobservable in the market.
 
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Assets measured at fair value on a recurring basis at January 30, 2010 are summarized below:
 
     
Fair Value Measurements at Reporting Date
Quoted
Prices in
Active Significant
Markets for Other Significant
Identical Observable Unobservable
January 30, Assets Inputs Inputs
  ($000)       2010       (Level 1)       (Level 2)       (Level 3)
Auction-rate securities $ 892 $ - $ -   $ 892
Corporate securities 10,204 - 10,204 -
U.S. Government and agency securities 5,090   5,090 - -
Mortgage-backed securities 2,416 - 2,416 -
Total assets measured at fair value $  18,602 $  5,090 $  12,620 $  892
 

Assets measured at fair value on a recurring basis at January 31, 2009 are summarized below:
 
 
Fair Value Measurements at Reporting Date
Quoted
Prices in
Active Significant
Markets for Other Significant
Identical Observable Unobservable
January 31, Assets Inputs Inputs
   ($000)       2009       (Level 1)       (Level 2)       (Level 3)   
Auction-rate securities $ 1,100 $ - $ -   $ 1,100
Asset-backed securities 789 - 789 -
Corporate securities 13,240 - 13,240 -
U.S. Government and agency securities 16,386 16,386 - -
Mortgage-backed securities 7,297 - 7,297 -
Total assets measured at fair value $  38,812 $  16,386 $  21,326 $  1,100
 

The maturities of investment securities at January 30, 2010 were:
 
Estimated
   ($000)       Cost basis       fair value   
Maturing in one year or less $ 1,722 $ 1,754
Maturing after one year through five years 6,446   6,812
Maturing after five years through ten years 9,123 9,144
Maturing after ten years 1,050 892
Total $  18,341 $  18,602
 

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The maturities of investment securities at January 31, 2009 were:
 
Estimated
  ($000)      Cost basis      fair value
Maturing in one year or less $ 886 $ 798
Maturing after one year through five years 25,646 25,600
Maturing after five years through ten years 11,525 10,532  
Maturing after ten years     1,929     1,882
  Total $  39,986   $  38,812
     

The underlying assets in the Company’s non-qualified deferred compensation program totaling $50.7 million as of January 30, 2010 (included in Other long-term assets and in Other long-term liabilities) primarily consist of participant directed money market mutual funds, as well as stable value, stock, and bond funds. The fair value measurement for funds that are quoted market prices in active markets (Level 1) totaled $43.9 million as of January 30, 2010. The fair value measurement for the stable value funds without quoted market prices in active markets (Level 2) totaled $6.8 million as of January 30, 2010. Fair market value for these funds is considered to be the sum of participant funds invested under the contract plus accrued interest.
 
Note C: Stock-based compensation
 
For fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, the Company recognized stock-based compensation expense as follows:
 
  ($000)      2009      2008      2007
  ESPP and stock options $ 2,952 $ 5,359 $ 9,083  
Restricted stock and performance awards 22,794 17,216 16,082
Total $  25,746 $  22,575 $  25,165
 

Capitalized stock-based compensation cost was not significant in any year.
 
No stock options were granted during 2009 or 2008. Beginning in 2008, the Company eliminated a lookback option in determining the purchase price for shares purchased under the ESPP. The Company recognizes expense for ESPP purchase rights equal to the value of the 15% discount given on the purchase date. At January 30, 2010, the Company had one stock-based compensation plan, which is further described in Note H.
 
The fair value of stock options granted during fiscal 2007 was estimated using a 3.9 year expected life from grant date, volatility of 28.4%, risk-free interest rate of 4.7%, and dividend yield of 0.9%. The fair value of ESPP rights granted during fiscal 2007 was estimated using a one year expected life from grant date, 26.4% expected volatility, 5.0% risk-free interest rate, and 0.9% dividend yield. The weighted average fair values per share of stock options granted and employee stock purchase plan shares issued during 2007 were $9.12 and $8.02, respectively.
 
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Total stock-based compensation recognized in the Company’s consolidated Statements of Earnings for fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007 is as follows:
 
  Statements of Earnings Classification ($000)      2009      2008      2007
Cost of goods sold $ 11,912 $ 10,021 $  10,736
Selling, general and administrative 13,834 12,554 14,429
Total $  25,746 $  22,575 $ 25,165  
 

Note D: Debt
 
Revolving credit facilities. The Company has a $600 million revolving credit facility with an expiration date of July 2011 and interest pricing at LIBOR plus 45 basis points. This facility contains a $300 million sublimit for issuance of standby letters of credit, of which $234.8 million was available at January 30, 2010. Interest is payable upon borrowing maturity but no less than quarterly. Borrowing under this credit facility is subject to maintaining certain financial ratios. As of January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, the Company had no borrowings outstanding under this facility and was in compliance with the covenants.
 
Senior Notes. The Company has two series of unsecured senior notes with various institutional investors for $150 million. The Series A notes, totaling $85 million are due in December 2018 and bear interest at a rate of 6.38%. The Series B notes totaling $65 million are due in December 2021 and bear interest at a rate of 6.53%. The fair value of these notes as of January 30, 2010 of approximately $164 million is estimated by obtaining comparable market quotes. Borrowings under these notes are subject to certain covenants including interest coverage and other financial ratios. As of January 30, 2010, the Company was in compliance with these covenants. The senior notes are subject to prepayment penalties for early payment of principal.
 
Letters of credit. The Company uses standby letters of credit to collateralize certain obligations related to its self-insured workers’ compensation and general liability programs. The Company had $65.2 million and $60.4 million in standby letters of credit at January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, respectively.
 
The Company also had $32.9 million and $16.7 million in trade letters of credit outstanding at January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, respectively.
 
Note E: Leases
 
The Company leases all but two of its store sites with original, non-cancelable terms that in general range from three to ten years. Store leases typically contain provisions for three to four renewal options of five years each. Most store leases also provide for minimum annual rentals and for payment of certain expenses. In addition, some store leases also have provisions for additional rent based on a percentage of sales.
 
The Company has lease arrangements for certain equipment in its stores for its point-of-sale (“POS”) hardware and software systems. These leases are accounted for as operating leases for financial reporting purposes. The initial terms of these leases are either two or three years and the Company typically has options to renew the leases for two to three one-year periods. Alternatively, the Company may purchase or return the equipment at the end of the initial or each renewal term. The Company’s obligation under the residual value guarantee at the end of the respective lease terms is $2.6 million.
 
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The Company also leases a 1.3 million square foot distribution center in Perris, California. The land and building for this distribution center are financed under a $70 million ten-year synthetic lease facility that expires in July 2013. Rent expense on this distribution center is payable monthly at a fixed annual rate of 5.8% on the lease balance of $70 million. At the end of the lease term, the Company must either refinance the distribution facility, purchase it at the amount of the then-outstanding lease balance, or sell it to a third party. If the distribution center is sold to a third party for less than $70 million, the Company has agreed under a residual value guarantee to pay the lessor any shortfall amount up to $56 million. The agreement includes a prepayment penalty for early payoff of the lease.
 
The Company has recognized a liability and corresponding asset for the inception date estimated fair value of the residual value guarantee in the amount of $8.3 million for the Perris, California distribution center and $0.9 million for the POS leases. These residual value guarantees are amortized on a straight-line basis over the original terms of the leases. The current portion of the related asset and liability is recorded in “Prepaid expenses and other” and “Accrued expenses and other,” respectively, and the long-term portion of the related assets and liabilities is recorded in “Other long-term assets” and “Other long-term liabilities,” respectively, in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.
 
The Company leases two warehouses in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with one lease expiring in 2013 and the other expiring in 2014. In January 2009, the Company exercised a three-year option for a 255,000 square foot warehouse in Fort Mill, South Carolina, extending the term to February 2013. In June 2008, the Company purchased a 423,000 square foot warehouse also in Fort Mill, South Carolina. All four of these properties are used to store the Company’s packaway inventory. The Company also leases a 10-acre parcel that has been developed for trailer parking adjacent to its Perris distribution center.
 
The synthetic lease facilities described above, as well as the Company’s revolving credit facility and senior notes, have covenant restrictions requiring the Company to maintain certain interest coverage and other financial ratios. In addition, the interest rates under the revolving credit facility may vary depending on the Company’s actual interest coverage ratios. As of January 30, 2010, the Company was in compliance with these covenants.
 
The Company leases approximately 181,000 square feet of office space for its corporate headquarters in Pleasanton, California, under several facility leases. The lease terms for these facilities expire between 2011 and 2015 and contain renewal provisions.
 
The Company leases approximately 197,000 and 26,000 square feet of office space for its New York City and Los Angeles buying offices, respectively. The lease terms for these facilities expire in 2021 and 2014, respectively and contain renewal provisions.
 
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The aggregate future minimum annual lease payments under leases in effect at January 30, 2010 are as follows:
 
Residual
Capital Operating Synthetic value
  ($000)      leases      leases      leases      guarantees      Total leases
2010 $ 291 $ 333,077 $ 5,681 $ 1,564 $ 340,613
2011 34 347,150 4,674 714 352,572
2012 11 313,200 4,212 316 317,739
2013 - 276,459 1,705 56,000 334,164
2014 - 225,677 - - 225,677  
Thereafter - 500,278 - - 500,278
Total minimum lease payments $  336 $  1,995,841 $  16,272 $  58,594 $  2,071,043
 

Total rent expense for all leases was $336.5 million in 2009, $325.9 million in 2008, and $301.6 million in 2007.
 
Note F: Taxes on Earnings
 
The provision for taxes consisted of the following:
 
($000)      2009      2008      2007
Current
       Federal $ 242,111 $ 152,833   $ 160,155  
         State     17,548     13,285     14,613  
        259,659     166,118 174,768
Deferred
       Federal 13,417 23,621 (9,263 )
         State     2,696     183     (1,436 )
        16,113     23,804     (10,699 )
Total   $  275,772 $  189,922 $  164,069  
 

In fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, the Company realized tax benefits of $8.6 million, $8.5 million and $6.5 million, respectively, related to employee equity programs that were credited to additional paid-in capital.
 
The provision for taxes for financial reporting purposes is different from the tax provision computed by applying the statutory federal income tax rate. Differences are as follows:
 
       2009      2008      2007
Federal income taxes at the statutory rate 35%   35%   35%  
State income taxes (net of federal benefit) and other, net 3%   3%   4%  
38% 38% 39%  
 

44
 


The components of deferred income taxes at January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009 are as follows:
 
($000)      2009      2008
Deferred Tax Assets
  Deferred compensation $ 29,014 $ 25,015
Deferred rent 11,094 10,490
Employee benefits - 7,861
Accrued liabilities 20,275 18,776
California franchise taxes 5,399 3,701
Stock-based compensation 7,224 7,771
Other 9,995 8,573
  83,001 82,187
Deferred Tax Liabilities
Depreciation (138,134 )     (121,952 )
Merchandise inventory (24,652 ) (30,627 )
Employee benefits (5,529 ) -
Supplies (7,811 ) (7,015 )
Prepaid expenses (6,052 ) (5,657 )
    (182,178 ) (165,251 )
Net Deferred Tax Liabilities $ (99,177 ) $ (83,064 )
Classified as:    
Current net deferred tax (liability) asset $ (2,894 ) $ 14,093
Long-term net deferred tax liability (96,283 ) (97,157 )
Net Deferred Tax Liabilities $ (99,177 ) $ (83,064 )
 

Effective February 4, 2007, the Company adopted new accounting guidance on the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes. As a result, the Company established a $26.3 million reserve for unrecognized tax benefits, inclusive of $6.0 million of related interest. The reserve is classified as a long-term liability and included in other long-term liabilities in the Company’s consolidated balance sheets. Upon adoption of ASC 740, the Company also recognized a reduction in retained earnings of $7.4 million and certain other deferred income tax assets and liabilities were reclassified.
 
The changes in amounts of unrecognized tax benefits (gross of federal tax benefits and excluding interest) at fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007 are as follows:
 
($000)      2009 2008 2007
Unrecognized tax benefits - beginning of year $ 26,338      $ 23,218      $ 25,680
Gross increases:  
         Tax positions in current period 7,314 4,695 5,451
       Tax positions in prior period 2,308 3,658 1,486
Gross decreases:
       Tax positions in prior periods - (1,115 ) (6,352 )
       Lapse of statute limitations (1,731 )   (1,783 ) (3,004 )
       Settlements (880 ) (2,335 ) (43
Unrecognized tax benefits - end of year $  33,349 $  26,338 $  23,218
 

45


In fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, the reserves for unrecognized tax benefits (net of federal tax benefits) were $33.6 million, $26.0 million, and $23.2 million inclusive of $10.0 million, $6.5 million, and $5.6 million of related interest, respectively. The Company accounts for interest and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits as a part of its provision for taxes on earnings. If recognized, $26.9 million would impact the Company’s effective tax rate. The difference between the total amount of unrecognized tax benefits and the amounts that would impact the effective tax rate relates to amounts attributable to deferred income tax assets and liabilities. These amounts are net of federal and state income taxes.
 
During the next twelve months, it is reasonably possible that the statute of limitations may lapse pertaining to positions taken by the Company in prior year tax returns. If this occurs, the total amount of unrecognized tax benefits may decrease, reducing the provision for taxes on earnings by up to $2.3 million.
 
The Company is generally open to audit by the Internal Revenue Service under the statute of limitations for fiscal years 2006 through 2009. The Company’s state income tax returns are generally open to audit under the various statutes of limitations for fiscal years 2005 through 2009. Certain state tax returns are currently under audit by state tax authorities. The Company does not expect the results of these audits to have a material impact on the consolidated financial statements.
 
Note G: Employee Benefit Plans
 
The Company has a defined contribution plan that is available to certain employees. Under the plan, employee and Company contributions and accumulated plan earnings qualify for favorable tax treatment under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. This plan permits employees to make contributions up to the maximum limits allowable under the Internal Revenue Code. The Company matches up to 4% of the employee’s salary up to the plan limits. Company matching contributions to the 401(k) plan were $7.6 million, $7.3 million, and $6.8 million in fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007, respectively.
 
The Company also has an Incentive Compensation Plan, which provides cash awards to key management and employees based on Company and individual performance.
 
The Company also makes available to management a Non-qualified Deferred Compensation Plan which allows management to make payroll contributions on a pre-tax basis in addition to the 401(k) plan. Other long-term assets include $50.7 million and $37.3 million at January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, respectively, of long-term plan investments, at market value, set aside or designated for the Non-qualified Deferred Compensation Plan (See Note B). Plan investments are designated by the participants, and investment returns are not guaranteed by the Company. The Company has a corresponding liability to participants of $50.7 million and $37.3 million at January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, respectively, included in other long-term liabilities in the consolidated balance sheets.
 
In addition, the Company has certain individuals who receive or will receive post-employment medical benefits. The estimated liability for these benefits of $3.9 million and $4.3 million is included in accrued liabilities and other in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets as of January 30, 2010 and January 31, 2009, respectively.
 
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Note H: Stockholders' Equity
 
Common stock. In January 2008 the Company’s Board of Directors approved a two-year stock repurchase program of up to $600 million for fiscal 2008 and 2009. In November 2005, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized a two-year stock repurchase program of up to $400 million for fiscal 2006 and 2007. In January 2010, the Company’s Board of Directors approved a two-year $750 million stock repurchase program for fiscal 2010 and 2011. The following table summarizes the Company’s stock repurchase activity in fiscal 2009, 2008, and 2007:
 
Shares repurchased      Average repurchase      Repurchased
     Fiscal Year (in millions) price (in millions)     
2009 7.4 $ 40.68 $ 300
  2008 9.3 $ 32.09 $ 300
2007 6.9 $ 29.10 $ 200  
 

Preferred stock. The Company has four million shares of preferred stock authorized, with a par value of $.01 per share. No preferred stock is issued or outstanding.
 
Dividends. In January 2010, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.16 per common share, payable on March 31, 2010. The Company’s Board of Directors declared quarterly cash dividends of $.11 per common share in January, May, August, and November 2009, cash dividends of $.095 per common share in January, May, August, and November 2008, and cash dividends of $.075 per common share in January, May, August, and November 2007.
 
2008 Equity Incentive Plan. On May 22, 2008, the Company’s stockholders approved the adoption of the Ross Stores, Inc. 2008 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2008 Plan”) with an initial share reserve of 8.3 million shares of the Company’s common stock, of which 6.0 million shares can be issued as full value awards. The 2008 Plan provides for various types of incentive awards, which may potentially include the grant of stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock purchase rights, restricted stock bonuses, restricted stock units, performance shares, performance units, and deferred compensation awards.
 
47
 


As of January 30, 2010, there were 4.9 million shares that remained available for grant under the 2008 Plan. A summary of the stock option activity for fiscal 2009 is presented below.
 
Weighted
Weighted average
average remaining Aggregate
     Number of      exercise       contractual      intrinsic
(000, except per share data) shares price term value
Outstanding at January 31, 2009 4,534 $ 25.39
       Granted        - $ -
       Exercised (1,733 ) $  25.16
       Forfeited (28 ) $ 25.75
  Outstanding at January 30, 2010 2,773 $ 25.53 4.54 $ 56,568
Vested and Expected to Vest at January 30, 2010 2,751 $ 25.46   4.52 $ 56,319
Exercisable at January 30, 2010 2,451   $ 24.38 4.20 $ 52,827  
 

The following table summarizes information about the weighted average remaining contractual life (in years) and the weighted average exercise prices for stock options both outstanding and exercisable as of January 30, 2010 (number of shares in thousands):
 
Options outstanding Options exercisable
Number of   Remaining      Exercise      Number of      Exercise
Exercise price range      shares       life price shares price
$ 7.19   to $ 19.02 578 1.71   $ 14.49   578   $ 14.49
  $ 19.13 to $ 26.86 561 4.06   $ 23.73 560   $ 23.73
$  26.99   to $  28.53 556 5.45   $ 27.79 555   $ 27.79
$ 28.55 to $ 29.42 563   4.85   $ 28.94 562   $ 28.94  
$ 29.57 to   $ 34.37   515 6.94   $ 33.67 196   $ 32.57
$ 7.19 to $ 34.37 2,773 4.54   $ 25.53 2,451   $ 24.38
 

48
 


A summary of the restricted stock activity for fiscal 2009 is presented below:
 
Weighted
average
     Number of      grant date
(000, except