Stage Stores, Inc. reported that total sales for the four-week period ended November 1, 2003 decreased 6.4% to $57.2 million from $61.1 million in the prior year four-week period ended November 2, 2002. Comparable store sales decreased 10.4% as compared to the prior
year, during which comparable store sales increased 6.9%.

The Company stated that its cosmetics and dresses departments had
comparable store sales increases during the month, and its
accessories, home & gifts, intimate apparel, shoe, special size
sportswear and young men's departments performed better than the
Company average.

For the third quarter ended November 1, 2003, the Company reported
that total sales decreased 3.2% to $197.9 million from $204.4 million
last year, while comparable store sales decreased 7.1%.

Jim Scarborough, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer,
commented, “Our results for the month reflect an unusually warm
October which negatively impacted sales of our fall categories and
products. Additionally, we had lower levels of clearance goods this
year versus last year, which contributed to our strong comparable
store sales increase of 6.9% a year ago.”

Mr. Scarborough concluded, “Although our sales during the month
were lower than expected, our expenses and our gross margin rate were
better than anticipated. As a result, we remain comfortable with our
previously provided earnings outlook for the third quarter of $0.58 to
$0.63 per diluted share using a diluted share count of 20.5 million

                             SALES SUMMARY
                          Comparable Store Sales Trend  Total Sales
                             % Increase (Decrease)    ($ in Millions)
                             ---------------------    ---------------
      Fiscal Period          2003             2002      2003    2002
      -------------          ----             ----      ----    ----
       1st Quarter          (7.5)%            7.0%    $198.0  $206.7
       2nd Quarter          (3.5)             6.5      207.7   207.5
          August            (7.3)             4.5       71.5    74.5
        September           (3.8)            (1.8)      69.2    68.8
         October           (10.4)             6.9       57.2    61.1
       3rd Quarter          (7.1)             2.9      197.9   204.4
       Year-To-Date         (6.0)             5.5      603.6   618.6

On October 30th, the Company opened new stores in Ennis and
Seabrook, Texas, as well as in Harvey and Marrero, Louisiana and
Ruidoso, New Mexico. That brought the number of new stores opened
during the first three quarters to 25.

As previously announced, on November 4th, the Company completed
its acquisition of Peebles Inc., increasing its store count by 136
stores and expanding its geographic footprint by 14 states. Because
the transaction closed in November, October's sales results do not
include any contribution from the Peebles stores.

The Company will complete its fiscal 2003 store opening program in
November with the opening of an additional 9 new stores. Of the
upcoming November openings, 3 stores will be opened in both Texas and
Pennsylvania, while single locations will be opened in Indiana,
Maryland and West Virginia.