99 Cents Only Stores to Close All 371 Locations Across Four States

California-based discount retailer 99 Cents Only Stores has announced its decision to close all 371 outlets across four states, citing the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting consumer demand, rising inflation, and increasing levels of product theft as major challenges. The closure marks the end of the chain’s 42-year run and highlights the ongoing struggles faced by the discount retail sector.

The company’s interim CEO, Mike Simoncic, stated that the decision was difficult but necessary due to the lasting challenges presented by the current economic climate. Liquidation sales will begin Friday at all 99 Cents Only Stores locations, with the company partnering with Hilco Real Estate to facilitate the sale of merchandise, fixtures, furnishings, and equipment.

The Rise and Fall of 99 Cents Only Stores

Founded in 1982 by Dave Gold, 99 Cents Only Stores quickly gained popularity, even in middle-class and upscale neighborhoods. The company’s success led to its public listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 1996 and a subsequent sale for roughly $1.6 billion in 2011. However, in recent decades, the chain has struggled to maintain its 99-cent pricing model due to various economic factors.

The closure of 99 Cents Only Stores comes shortly after fellow discount retailer Dollar Tree announced the closure of 1,000 stores last month, further emphasizing the challenges faced by the discount retail sector. The move is expected to impact thousands of employees across California, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas.

As customers flock to the stores for last-minute purchases before the final closures, many are reflecting on the impact the chain has had on their lives. Julie Ann Mckenzie, a shopper in Santa Ana, noted, “Inflation has been high. So that’s why I shop here. And it is close to home.”

Support for Displaced Workers

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn has pledged to introduce a motion during Tuesday’s board meeting to provide support for displaced workers from the 99 Cents Only Stores chain. The county aims to offer short-term assistance and job training to help affected employees secure better employment opportunities.

Hahn emphasized the county’s readiness to help, stating, “I am worried about the thousands of 99 Cents Store workers across L.A. County who are going to lose their jobs, but L.A. County is ready to help.” The proposed motion seeks to provide a comprehensive report on the ways the county can support the displaced workers during this challenging time.

The closure of 99 Cents Only Stores is expected to have a significant impact on the communities it has served for over four decades. As the company winds down its operations, local authorities and organizations are mobilizing to mitigate the effects of the closures on employees and their families.

The End of an Era

The shuttering of 99 Cents Only Stores marks the end of an era for the discount retail industry. Founded by Dave Gold, who lived modestly despite his success, the chain grew from a single store in Los Angeles to a multi-state operation with 371 locations.

Gold’s innovative pricing approach and belief in the “magic number” of 99 cents helped the chain thrive, even in the face of initial skepticism from friends and family. The company’s success story is a testament to Gold’s vision and the enduring appeal of affordable, quality merchandise.

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, the closure of 99 Cents Only Stores serves as a reminder of the challenges traditional brick-and-mortar retailers face in an increasingly digital and competitive marketplace.

The Legacy of 99 Cents Only Stores

The closure of 99 Cents Only Stores is a significant event that marks the end of a 42-year journey for the discount retail chain. The COVID-19 pandemic, shifting consumer demand, rising inflation, and increasing levels of product theft have created lasting difficulties for the company, forcing it to wind down its operations.

As the company begins its liquidation process, it focuses on supporting the thousands of employees affected by the closures. Local authorities and organizations are stepping up to provide assistance and help these workers navigate the challenging road ahead.

The legacy of 99 Cents Only Stores and its founder, Dave Gold, will continue to inspire entrepreneurs and innovators in the retail industry. The chain’s success story serves as a reminder of the power of a simple idea and the importance of adapting to changing market conditions.