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99-cents store to open

Posted: March 10, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 10, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Signs mark the 99 Cents Only Store opening in the building once occupied by the Do It Center on Valencia Boulevard in Santa Clarita on Friday. It’s scheduled to open in June.

A 99 Cents Only Store is moving into the retail store formerly occupied by the Do It Center on Valencia Boulevard in Santa Clarita, according to a company official.

Long-rumored to be moving into this location, the discount retailer hung signs up all over the property announcing its arrival.

An operator at its city of Commerce-based headquarters confirmed the location is on its list of new stores and scheduled for a June opening.

The city of Santa Clarita said the company did apply for a permit that is in the process of being approved, said Dave Peterson, assistant planner for the city.

Until the permit is approved, no one has been authorized to do any work on the building to prepare it for opening, Peterson said. But, he said, the city is very close to granting final approval.

“They’re splitting use of the building in two. The other half will be occupied by an unknown tenant,” Peterson said. “They’ll be occupying the left-hand side of the building.”

The deep-discount retailer, founded by David Gould, first opened an outlet in 1982. The 99 Cents Only Stores expanded to 292 stores, operating 214 of them in California, 36 in Texas, 29 in Arizona and 13 in Nevada, according to a financial report filed by the company in February. The company is also a wholesale distributor of various products.

Stores open at least one year generate average net sales of $4.8 million per store, or $289 per sellable square foot, which the company believes are the highest in the dollar-store industry.

The retailer reported an increase of 11.1 percent in retail sales, or $39.1 million, for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2011. And it believes it will continue to experience growth in 2012 from increases in same-store sales and new store openings.

In October 2011, the 99 Cents Only Stores agreed to be acquired by Ares Management LLC and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in a transaction estimated to have a total equity value of $1.6 billion. And the company, once publicly traded, went private.

The once family-run business will continue to be headed by Eric Schiffer, CEO; Jeff Gold, president and COO; and Howard Gold, executive vice president. Founder David Gold will serve as chairman emeritus.

Experts believe the new owners will expand the chain into other markets.

“We believe that 99 Cents Only Stores is a franchise company, and we look forward to working closely with the company’s management team and dedicated employees to continue to expand the business in order to successfully increase the company’s attractive current market position,”  said David Kaplan, a senior partner and founding member of Ares Management. 











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