Is it just us or does 2024 seem like a bad year to be a discount retailer? Less than a month after one of their major competitors announced the impending closure of 1,000 of their underperforming stores, this retailer announced that it will close all of their locations soon. 

99 Cents Only Stores Winds Down Operations

Getty Images + Canva
Getty Images + Canva

For years, 99 Cents Only differentiated itself by offering items that its biggest competitor, Dollar Tree did not. Most notably? Fresh produce, including organic options. For low income families, being able to get healthy foods like those at a price lower than what’s offered at a more traditional supermarket or even Walmart was a game changer. They are also known to carry a wider variety of brand name hygiene products. 

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Unfortunately, the store that seemed like a lifeline for those going through financial hardships may be going away forever. On April 4, 99 Cents Only Stores issued a press release saying that they have immediate plans to liquidate and close all 371 one of their locations. The release explained that the discount chain hasn’t been able to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, shrinkage and changes in consumer demand. 

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Reuters reports that about 125 of those stores will close by April 30, with the remaining locations set to close by the end of May. According to the store’s “Going Out of Business” page, they’ll continue accepting gift cards through April 19. They’ll honor their existing exchange policy for items purchased before April 5 through the same date. All sales between April 5 and the store’s permanent closure are final. 

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255 of the company’s 371 stores are located in California. It’s possible that some of those locations may survive in one form or another. Los Angeles Magazine says that the former president of Big Lots and Pic ‘N’ Save is trying to rally investors to save at least 143 of the stores, mainly located in Southern California. 

Is The Dollar Store “Era” Over?

As we previously mentioned, 99 Cents competitor Dollar Tree, Inc. is moving forward with plans to close at least 1,000 underperforming stores. 600 of their Family Dollar Stores will close first. An additional 370 Family Dollar and 30 Dollar Tree stores will close after their leases expire.

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