California-based 99 Cents Only Stores is closing down, citing COVID, inflation and product theft

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California-based 99 Cents Only Stores said Friday it will close all 371 of its outlets, ending the chain’s 42-year run of selling an assortment of bargain-basement merchandise.

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The company has stores across California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas that will begin will selling off their merchandise, as well as fixtures, furnishings and equipment.

Interim CEO Mike Simoncic said in a statement that the retailer has struggled for years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in consumer demand, inflation and rising levels of product “shrink” — a measure that encompasses losses from employee theft, shoplifting, damage, administrative errors and more.

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“This was an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve,” said Simoncic, who will be stepping down. “Unfortunately, the last several years have presented significant and lasting challenges in the retail environment.”

The shuttering of 99 Cents Only Stores comes after fellow discount retailer Dollar Tree last month said it was closing 1,000 stores.

99 Cents Only Stores was founded in 1982 by Dave Gold, who opened its first store in Los Angeles at the age of 50, according to his 2013 obituary in the Los Angeles Times. Gold, who had been working at a liquor store owned by his father, found that marking down surplus items to 99 cents caused them to sell out “in no time,” fueling his desire to launch a new spin on the dollar store.

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

Brushing off doubting friends and family members, Gold forged ahead. His idea caught on quickly, even in middle-class and upscale neighborhoods, allowing the company to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1996. It was later sold for roughly $1.6 billion in 2011.

Click here to read the full article in AP News


  1. Donald J. says

    And due to the decisions of the present installed administration regarding a 2 year lock down, outrageous inflation and the entitlement mentality of those thieves protected from severe penalties enacted in sanctuary cities and States a little bit more of the American dream falls.

  2. Robin Itzler - Patriot Neighbors says

    I am in mourning! I always bought household items at reduced prices. Many times, the 99-Cents-Only Store had better produce than the nearby supermarkets. For me, it was nice to save a few dollars. For many others, it was the only way they could purchase household items, fruits and vegetables and other products. I know many older people who shopped there to give their grandchildren small gifts, especially at Christmas.

    I went to my local 99-Cents store on Friday (big mistake!), but as long as I was there, I stocked up. Wherever I went and especially while standing on the long lines, I LOUDLY said, “We can all thank Joe Biden for this store closing! Vote for Trump to stop this insanity!”

  3. Rico Lagattuta says

    You were in a California store. Nothing will help. The insanity will rage on.

  4. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    Edmund Burke

  5. What a sad day for those of who wanted high quality at low prices. My family shopped at these stores in various states for over 30 years and they offered a much better level of food and produce than one finds in other dollar store chains. The 2020 lockdowns made a big change in pricing and the quality of items offered. Our local store subsequently saw a huge drop off in customers. It is a shock, but still not that surprising they are closing up for good given rampant retail theft everywhere and tapped out customers who don’t have the money to spend because of raging inflation. The concern should now be for the employees and their employment prospects at other places.

  6. Oh, but the employment numbers will go up according to NewScum and his commies! Don’t you just love RATS math!!!

  7. Treva Bennett says

    Heartbreaking to see California crumbling. It’s especially infuriating when the Demorats smile and tell everyone all is well while they bury generations to come in debt. They need to be run out of town. You have to admit their plan of destruction for control is working. It makes me ill. MAGA Support & vote for Trump (Volunteer)

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