Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer at Ross Stores
Good afternoon. Joining me on our call today are Michael Hartshorn, Group President and Chief Operating Officer; Adam Orvos, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Connie Kao, Group Vice President, Investor Relations.
We'll begin our call today with a review of our first quarter 2022 performance followed by our outlook for the second quarter and fiscal year. Afterwards we'll be happy to respond to any questions you may have.
As today -- as noted in today's press release, we are disappointed with our lower-than-expected first quarter results. We knew 2022 would be a difficult year to predict, especially the first half, when we were facing last year's record levels of government stimulus and significant customer pent-up demand as COVID restrictions eased. The external environment has also proven extremely challenging as the Russia-Ukraine conflict has exacerbated inflationary pressures on the consumer not seen in 40 years. As a result of these factors, our first quarter results underperformed our expectations.
Total sales for the first quarter were $4.3 billion with comparable store sales down 7% on top of a robust 13% gain in the first quarter of 2021 that were versus 2019. Earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended April 30, 2022 were $0.97 on net income of $338 million. The quarter includes an approximate benefit of $0.06 per share from the favorable timing of expenses that are expected to reverse in subsequent quarters. These results compared to $1.34 per share on net earnings of $476 million for the 13 weeks ended May 1, 2021.
Men's was the strongest merchandise area during the quarter, while Florida was the top performing region. dd's DISCOUNTS performance in the first quarter trailed that of Ross as a significant benefit of last year's stimulus and escalating inflationary pressures, had a larger impact on lower-income households. At quarter end, total consolidated inventories were up 57% versus the same period in 2021 mainly from higher packaway inventory.
Packaway merchandise represented 43% of total inventories versus 34% last year, when we use a substantial amount of packaway to meet robust consumer demand. Additionally, supply chain congestion is somewhat during the first quarter, resulting in the early receipt of merchandise that we stored in packaway and will flow the stores later in the year. Average store inventories during the quarter were up, though we still operated with significantly less inventory in-stores that we did pre-pandemic.
Turning to store growth, our 2022 inspection program is on schedule, with the addition of 22 new Ross and 8 dd's DISCOUNTS locations in the first quarter. We remain on track to open a total of approximately 100 locations this year, comprised of about 75 Ross and 25 dd's. As usual, these numbers do not reflect our plans to close or relocate about 10 stores.
Now Adam will provide further details on our first quarter results and additional color on our outlook for the remainder of fiscal 2022.