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Mothers Work Reports Comparable Store Sales Increase of 4.7% And Total Sales Increase of 8.1% for January 2003


Mothers Work, Inc. , the world's leading maternity apparel retailer, today announced that net sales for the month of January 2003 increased 8.1% to $30.9 million from $28.5 million reported for the month of January 2002. Comparable store sales for January 2003 increased 4.7% (based on 838 locations) versus a comparable store sales decrease of 2.7% (based on 727 locations) for the January 2002 period. During January 2003, the Company closed 2 locations, ending the month with 933 locations compared to 888 at January 2002, reflecting the Company's net new store openings partially offset by the closure of 29 acquired iMaternity® stores during the last twelve months.

Rebecca Matthias, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mothers Work, noted, "We are pleased with our performance for the month of January, particularly given the difficult retail environment. Our comparable store sales increase shows the strong reception of our product lines by our customers, including strong early sell-through results for our Spring product lines despite the colder than normal temperatures in much of the United States. We believe our sales results also benefited by the continued transfer of sales from closed iMaternity stores to existing Motherhood and Mimi stores, although that benefit is diminishing as we anniversary a greater number of the iMaternity store closures. From October 2001 through January 2002, we closed 61 of the acquired iMaternity stores, including 46 stores closed during the month of January 2002. Since our acquisition of iMaternity on October 17, 2001, consistent with our plan, we have closed 90 of the 166 acquired iMaternity stores where we believed we could transfer a sufficient portion of the sales to our existing stores within the same area while eliminating acquired store expenses and improving inventory utilization. We have continued to realize meaningful gross margin increases over last year, primarily due to our success at reducing product costs through our aggressive sourcing initiatives."

Mothers Work is the world's largest designer and retailer of maternity apparel, using its custom TrendTrack™ merchandise analysis and planning system as well as its quick response replenishment process to "give the customer what she wants, when she wants it." Mothers Work operates 933 maternity locations, including 783 stores and 150 leased departments, predominantly under the tradenames Motherhood Maternity®, A Pea in the Pod®, and Mimi Maternity® and sells on the web through its and brand-specific websites.

The Company cautions that any forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) contained in this press release or made from time to time by management of the Company, including expected results of operations, involve risks and uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various important factors. The following factors, among others, in some cases have affected and in the future could affect the Company's financial performance and actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any such forward-looking statements: changes in consumer spending patterns, raw material price increases, consumer preferences and overall economic conditions, the impact of competition and pricing, availability of suitable store locations, continued availability of capital and financing, ability to hire and develop senior management and sales associates, ability to develop and source merchandise, ability to receive production from foreign sources on a timely basis, and other factors set forth in the Company's periodic filings and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or in materials incorporated therein by reference.

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SOURCE: Mothers Work, Inc.

CONTACT: Edward M. Krell, Senior Vice President- Chief Financial Officer
of Mothers Work, +1-215-873-2220

Web site:

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