Ames Department Stores, Inc (NASDAQ: AMES) today announced net sales of $346.5 million for the five weeks ended July 1, 2000, compared with net sales of $342.0 million in the year-earlier period, an increase of 1.3 per cent. Net sales for the twenty-two week year-to-date period were $1.460 billion, compared with $1.447 billion in the year-earlier period. Comparable-store sales for the period were $265.3 million, against $279.8 million in the year-earlier period. This decrease of 5.2 per cent compares to a very robust 13.8 per cent increase in the prior year. These results are consistent with the company's expectations in its June 21, 2000 press release. Comparable-store sales were based on 342 stores. For the year-to-date period comparable-store sales were $977.6 million against $983.4 million last year, a decrease of 0.6 per cent. Joseph R. Ettore, Ames' chairman and CEO, said: "We saw a pattern of improvement as the month progressed and sales rallied in the last two weeks of June comparing favorably to last year's strong sales. Strong categories included home entertainment and infants wear. Sales of seasonal items also picked up." With 460 stores located in 19 states and the District of Columbia, Ames is the nation's largest regional, full-line discount retailer with annual sales of over $4 billion. Ames offers a broad range of merchandise categories including family apparel, housewares, domestics, electronics, ready-to-assemble and patio furniture, jewelry, craft and pet supplies, health and beauty care items, stationery, sporting goods, toys, seasonal products and more. Visit: