Stage Stores, Inc. reported total sales for the four-week period ended January 29, 2005 increased 4.4% to $63.7 million from $61.0 million in the prior year four-week period ended January 31, 2004. Comparable store sales increased 3.7% versus an increase of 2.1% last year.
The company noted that the majority of its merchandise departments achieved comparable store sales increases during the month. Of this group, the top performing categories were dresses, special sizes and accessories.

Jim Scarborough, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased that despite inclement winter weather that occurred in parts of our eastern markets during the last two weekends of the month, our comparable store sales increased 3.7%. We believe that we are well positioned as we move into the Spring selling season, and we are optimistic about our prospects for our 2005 fiscal year.”

For the fourth quarter ended January 29, 2005, the Company reported that total sales increased 5.5% to $389.0 million from $368.6 million last year, and comparable store sales increased 4.0%. For the full 2004 fiscal year, total sales increased 27.9% to $1,243.9 million from $972.2 million in fiscal 2003, and comparable store sales increased 2.5%.

The following table is provided for reference purposes and details the sales history for the Company on a monthly and quarterly basis for the 2003 and 2004 fiscal years.

                  Comparable Store Sales Trend     Total Sales
% Increase (Decrease) ($ in Millions)
--------------------- ---------------
Fiscal Period 2004 2003(a) 2004 2003(b)
------------- ---- ------- ---- -------
January 3.7 2.1 63.7 61.0
4th Quarter 4.0 (0.6) 389.0 368.6

Full Year 2.5% (3.7)% $1,243.9 $972.2