April 9, 2024

USA: Great News! 99 Cent Stores Might Be Saved By CEO Of Pic N Save And Former Big Lots President Putting Together A Team Of Investors. 99 Cent Announced On 4/4 Closing 371 Stores In 4 States.

NBC4LA News published April 8, 2024: New plan to keep some 99 Cents Only Stores open. A local investor is searching for a way to keep 99 Cents Only Store locations open in SoCal after the chain declared bankruptcy. Amber Frias reports for the NBC4 News on Apr. 8, 2024.

NBC4 News, Los Angeles local
written by Amber Frias
Monday April 8, 2024

There may still be hope for Southern California’s 99 Cents Only Stores.

While the chain declared bankruptcy, there’s an effort underway to keep some of them from shutting down permanently.

A local man who knows the bargain store business well said that while the chain’s bankruptcy declaration will make things more difficult for him and the group of investors he’s gathered, it won’t stop them from working to find a way to keep stores in Southern California open.

Customers rush into a 99 Cents Only Store in Pico Rivera as they prepare for the chain’s closure.

“Everyone is going to feel like not having the store open anymore.” Perry Morales, a shopper, said.

For many, the store has been a lifeline, offering affordable prices that stretch tight budgets.

“Fabric softener. I would pay $20 for a big huge thing and here I was paying $5,” Destiny Hernandez, a shopper, said.

The chain is set to close all 371 locations nationwide, but there's a glimmer of hope for 143 Southern California stores

“I said ‘okay let's see if I can put some people together to buy this chain,’” Mark Miller, CEO of Pick N’ Save Bargains, said.

Miller, who is the CEO of Pick N’ Save Bargains and former president of Big Lots, is hoping to save the beloved bargain store.

He has put together a team of investors who want to continue the chain’s commitment to the community.

“It's still going to be oriented on food, consumables, general merchandise, seasonal,” Miller said. His plan is to save the stores by going back to the basics

“It was a treasure hunt, you never knew what you were going to find. Never, never. And you went there because you said I never know what I'm going to find and I can also find some good basic things,” Miller said.

He said bargain stores have struggled due to them trying to compete with traditional stores rather than embracing their unique appeal.

“That customer wants to be surprised. If you walk into a number of stores, sometimes you can close your eyes and you’re in the same store. I want customers to be able to come in and say, ‘wow, this place is different,’” Miller said.

Back at the discount store, the news of a potential intervention of investors is bringing a sense of optimist to the community.

“If they’re able to save it, they’re saving a lot of people’s pockets a lot of money,” Hernandez said.

“Hopefully it can be rescued,” Morales said.

Customers are clinging onto hope that their beloved bargain store will stay open.

Apart from the communities being impacted, there are also thousands of employees who will be left without jobs.

Tomorrow, the LA County board of supervisors is scheduled to vote on a proposal that would provide assistance to these workers once the stores close.

GlobalAwareness101 published 99 Cent Only Is Closing All Stores In California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada.

Oh no. 🥺 ABC News 4/4/24: 99 Cents Only Stores - a discount chain in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada - is winding down its business operations, according to a press release from the company on Thursday. Like many retailers emerging out of the pandemic, the West Coast chain has struggled with rising costs and shrink - which is higher merchandise losses from customer errors, damage, internal losses and shoplifting.

"This was an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve," said Mike Simoncic, interim chief executive officer of 99 Cents, in the release. "Unfortunately, the last several years have presented significant and lasting challenges in the retail environment, including the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting consumer demand, rising levels of shrink, persistent inflationary pressures and other macroeconomic headwinds, all of which have greatly hindered the company's ability to operate."

The company said it has entered into an agreement with financial services company Hilco Global to liquidate its merchandise. It will also work with the firm to get rid of fixtures, furnishings and equipment at its 371 stores.

Hilco Real Estate will manage the sales of its store locations in the four states.

Simoncic will step down from his role, the company said, and Chris Wells will serve as chief restructuring officer.

Bloomberg reported last week that 99 Cents was considering a bankruptcy filing.

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