California-based 99 Cents Only Stores to close due to coronavirus, inflation, product theft

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California-based 99 Cents Only Stores said Friday it will close all 371 of its stores, ending the chain’s 42-year history of selling a wide range of bargains.

The company, which has stores in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas, will begin selling its merchandise as well as fixtures, furniture and equipment.

Interim CEO Mike Simoncic said in a statement that the retailer has struggled for years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in consumer demand, inflation and rising levels of product “shrinkage” – measures that include employee theft. Loss, damage caused by theft, shoplifting, administrative errors, etc.

Simoncic, who is resigning, said: “This has been an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve. Unfortunately, the retail environment has faced significant and enduring challenges over the past few years.”

Discount retailer Dollar Tree said last month that it would close its 99 Cents Only Stores 1,000 stores closed.

99 Cents Only Stores was founded in 1982 by Dave Gold, who opened his first store in Los Angeles when he was 50 years old. 2013 Los Angeles Times obituariesGold, who worked at his father’s liquor store, found that after he marked down the price of remaining items to 99 cents, they sold out “quickly,” inspiring his desire to launch new products at dollar stores. .

“I realized that was the magic number,” he told The Times. “I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to have a store where everything was high quality and sold for 99 cents?”

Gold pushed forward despite the skepticism of friends and family. His idea quickly caught on, even among middle-class and upscale neighborhoods, which led to the company being listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1996. It was later sold in 2011 for approximately $1.6 billion.

Gold became a multimillionaire but lived a frugal life. He and his wife of 55 years had lived in the same middle-class home for nearly 50 years and drove the Toyota Prius he bought in 2000, his family told The Times.

While the chain originally sold most of its items for 99 cents, those prices have become untenable in recent decades, even though the company has retained its trademark name.

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