“I Blame Newsom” As Frustration Grows Over Closure

(HorizonPost.com) – The discount retail chain 99 Cents Only Stores announced earlier this month that it was closing all of its locations after over 40 years in business, The LA Times reported.

In an April 4 statement, interim CEO Mike Simoncic said the company faced “significant and lasting challenges” in recent years, including the pandemic lockdowns, persistent inflation, “shifting customer demand,” and increasing inventory losses due to retail theft.

Simoncic said those factors taken together “greatly hindered the company’s ability to operate.”

The company said Hilco Global would coordinate the liquidation of all of its merchandise, as well as the store furnishings, equipment, and fixtures.

The chain’s 371 stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas will be closing, leaving roughly 14,000 workers without a job.

The company announced on April 8 that it had filed for bankruptcy to maximize the sale of its real estate and other assets.

Hilco Global is also managing the sale of the company’s real estate assets.

In an April 9 column, LA Times columnist Gustavo Arellano recounted visiting the 99 Cents Only store in Santa Ana as shoppers were taking advantage of the going-out-of-business sale prices as the store prepares to close on June 3.

One shopper told Arellano that he blamed California Governor Gavin Newsom for the store’s closure, saying the state had “too many taxes” and its minimum wage was “too high,” which he said made it impossible for companies like 99 Cents Only to compete. He said he had been shopping at the Santa Ana location for about 20 years and with the store closing, it would be “poor people like us who end up suffering.”

Another shopper said he hoped that the reports about a group of investors looking to save the 99 Cents Only Stores were true.

It was reported on April 8 that former Big Lots president Mark Miller was leading an effort by a group of investors to rescue the 143 California locations. With 99 Cents Only Stores filing for bankruptcy, such a deal may be difficult but Miller told LA Magazine that it wouldn’t stop the effort from moving forward.

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