J. Baker, Inc. (Nasdaq:JBAK) today reported that total sales in its Casual Male Big & Tall, Repp Big & Tall, Work'n Gear and Footwear divisions for the four weeks ended July 29,2000 increased 9.1% to $48 million, compared to $44 million for the four weeks ended July 31,1999. Comparable store sales for the month of July increased 5.5%.

The Company also announced sales for the second quarter ended July 29,2000 increased 12.4% to $190 million, compared to $169 million for the same period last year. Year-to-date sales for the six months ended July 29, 2000 increased 20.8% to $360 million, compared to $298 million for the same period last year. Comparable store sales for the six-month period increased 2.9%. The Company's results for the month, quarter and year-to-date periods reflect the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of the Repp Big & Tall stores and the Repp By Mail catalog and e-commerce businesses in May 1999, as well as the business acquired from Shoe Corporation of America at the end of February 2000.

Comparable store sales increases (decreases) by division were as follows:

Month of July Year-to-date
     
Casual Male Big & Tall
5%
6%
JBI Footwear
6%
(2)%
Work 'n Gear
10%
5%

The Company also announced that July comparable store performance at its JBI Footwear division was driven by increased promotional activity on seasonal merchandise primarily in its northeastern licensed footwear departments due to unseasonably cool weather during the period. As a result, the Company believes that its earnings for the second quarter will likely be in the range of $0.23 to $0.25 per share. The Company will release second quarter earnings on August 23, 2000.

Alan I. Weinstein, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented,"We are pleased to report strong comp store sales increases in our businesses for the month of July. Further, while we are disappointed by the need for additional markdowns in our footwear division during July and the second quarter, our stores will be in a clean inventory position heading into the important back-to-school season."

J. Baker operates retail businesses in large, under-served niche markets. The company operates 593 retail stores, three catalog titles and two commerce-enabled websites selling apparel and accessories for big and tall men under the Casual Male Big & Tall,Repp Ltd. Big & Tall and B&T Factory Stores trade names. The company offers rugged workwear and healthcare apparel through its 68 Work 'n Gear stores, plus direct marketing offerings and e-commerce initiatives. The company also operates approximately 1,240 licensed footwear departments in discount, department and specialty stores nationwide through its JBI Footwear and Morse Shoe divisions.

This press release contains forward-looking information. The forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may be significantly impacted by various factors including: unfavorable local, regional and national economic developments; severe weather conditions or unanticipated weather patterns; dependence on footwear department licensors; disruption to the Company's important foreign vendors caused by political and social strife, unstable economic environments or acts of God;aggressive advertising or promotional activities of competitors; dependence on fashion trends;the availability of credit; the availability of appropriate new real estate and footwear department opportunities; disruption in important trade channels; and other factors described in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended January 29, 2000 under the heading 'Outlook: Important Factors and Uncertainties'. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements or reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.