99 Cents Only stores seeing big crowds trying to stock up before chain shuts down

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) — With the news that the 99 Cents Only stores are closing down, customers are flocking to the discount chain to clear out the shelves before they shut the doors.

At the chain’s Riverside store on Friday, it was hard to find a parking spot and lines at the checkout were long.

“A lot of people do their shopping here,” said James Bowser of Riverside. “You can come in here with 20 bucks and walk away with a cartful of food. You can’t do that anywhere else.”

The chain, based in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada, announced this week it plans to close all 371 stores. It has entered an agreement with an outside firm to liquidate merchandise, as well as get rid of fixtures, furnishings and equipment.

The company cited several factors for the closure, 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.”

Now customers are trying to figure out where they might shop next, with other discount chains struggling as well.

“I shop here twice a week at least,” said Sharon Goloskie of Riverside. “I’m flabbergasted.”

One alternative, The Dollar Tree stores, announced recently a hike in prices, with some items costing as much as $7.

Dollar Tree announced the maximum price of items in its stores will increase to $7 this year.

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