Stage Stores, Inc.reported that total sales for July increased 14.9% to $115.0 million from $100.1 million in the prior year five-week period ended July 3, 2004. Comparable store sales increased 11.1% versus a decrease of 2.5% last year.

The company noted that its comparable store sales gain was driven by positive performances in all of its major product categories, with the best performing areas being woman's special sizes (+29.0%), accessories (+20.1%) and misses sportswear (+18.2%).

                             SALES SUMMARY
                       Comparable Store
                         Sales Trend                  Total Sales
                     % Increase (Decrease)          ($ in Millions)
                     ----------------------     ----------------------
  Fiscal Period        2005          2004         2005          2004
-----------------    --------      --------     --------      --------
   1st Quarter          4.9%         4.5%        $310.1        $289.7
       May              7.0          1.0          100.0          90.6
      June             11.1         (2.5)         115.0         100.1
 2nd Qtr-To-Date        9.1         (0.9)         215.0         190.7
  Year-To-Date          6.6          2.3          525.1         480.4

Jim Scarborough, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased with our 11.1% comparable store sales increase for June, which clearly benefited from our great merchandise selections and the onset of warmer weather in our eastern markets.”

Mr. Scarborough continued, “As always, we remain intently focused on growing both our top and bottom line performance by continuing to achieve comparable store sales increases and maintaining tight expense controls, and by the expansion of our store base through organic store growth and opportunistic acquisitions. Our strong cash flow and healthy balance sheet allows us to continue to invest in our Company's future growth.