99 Cents Only to close down all stores

(KTLA) - 99 Cents Only will be closing all of its stores after the company announced plans to wind down its business operations.

The company, which was founded in 1982, operates 371 stores across California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. 

On Thursday, the company officially announced plans to close down, citing financial difficulties stemming from the pandemic, changing consumer demand and rising inflation.

"This was an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve," said Mike Simoncic, Interim Chief Executive Officer. "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.”

Popular rooftop eatery in downtown L.A. charging customers security fee

The popular discount stores were famous for their wide variety of items at reasonable prices, including household goods, fresh groceries, snacks, office supplies, health and beauty products, party supplies and more.

Jacques Elsair shops at the 99 cent Only store in Los Angeles Monday, Sept 8, 2008. The discount retailer announced Monday the first price increase in the chain's 26-year history by raising the cost of household items, food and other items by almost a penny. The company blamed rising inflation, food and energy prices for the new 99.99 cent price. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)Shoppers take advantage of the the price at the $.99 cent store in Los Angeles finding everthing from planters to toys and auto parts. A bit everthing and all for just $.99 each; (Photo by Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)A 99 Cents Only store in Lakewood, California. (Getty Images)Customer Michele White, left, talks with cashier Keyla Gaitan, right at the 99 Cents Only Store in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 8, 2008. Discounter 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. said Monday it will raise prices, including increasing its top price, to "99.99" cents, or nearly a dollar. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)Jodi Jill (Cq), shops for holiday gifts at 99 Cents store Los Angeles. Jill recently lost her job when the car dealership she worked for went under, has to trimmed down her budget to 200 bucks for 22 people. Shoppers battered by a tough economy are taking out their worries on their holiday gift lists. Gifters are cutting down their budgets and the number of recipients, and increasingly turning to hand and homemade gifts, items from discount stores and online bargains. (Photo by Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)Emilia pushes her cart around the store (Courtesy 99 Cent Only Stores)A 99 Cents Only store in California. (Getty Images)Shoppers use plastic grocery bags after shopping at the 99 Cents Only Store on June 18, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)US Marine Whillis Hall, Jr. right, and bride Emily Wiley, react after getting married along other nine couples at the 99 Cent store in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sep. 09, 2009. The discount chain will send the couples off in a limousine, with $99.99 in cash, and take them to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" spot. All nine couples who got married in the store also will get a free night's stay, including dinner, at the Hotel Angeleno. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)Groom Jon Nguyen, far right, and his bride, Bonnie Cam, middle, holding their daughter, Autumn, wait with other couples to be married at the 99 Cent store in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sep. 09, 2009. The discount chain will send the couples off in a limousine, with $99.99 in cash, and take them to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" spot. All nine couples who got married in the store also will get a free night's stay, including dinner, at the Hotel Angeleno. Other people are not identified. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)Marta Lara,left, helps Anita Hernandez at 99 Cent Store, in Los Angeles Monday, Sept 8, 2008. The discount retailer announced Monday the first price increase in the chain's 26-year history by raising the cost of household items, food and other items by almost a penny. The company blamed rising inflation, food and energy prices for the new 99.99 cent price. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)Don Ostrov, 84, from Beverly Hills, Calif., shops at a 99 Cents Only Store in Los Angeles Monday, Sept 8, 2008. Discounter 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. said Monday it will raise prices, including increasing its top price, to "99.99" cents, or nearly a dollar. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)Close Farley zooms through a Los Angeles 99 cent store while on a shopping spree. Ann Close–Farley is costume designer for the wacky annual 99–Cent Store Holiday Show. The award–winning designer actually goes to 99 cent stores for materials. (Photo by Stephen Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)Gwen Whitmore waits for her 99 cent wedding ceremony at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)Lesley Barragan and John Tinker smile as they look at the rings after their 99 cent wedding ceremony at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)Emily Wiley waits amongst the food aisles before her 99 cent wedding ceremony at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 18: Shoppers use plastic grocery bags after shopping at the 99 Cents Only Store on June 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote on a proposed law would prohibit stores that sell pershiable goods for handing out the plastic grocery bags and fines would will be imposed for violators. It also calls for a 10-cent charge on paper bag use and regulations on the types of reusable bags that stores make it available to their customers. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)Dave Gold, founder of 99 Cents Only Stores, has died.Denisse Navarro and Guadalupe Villagrana embrace after their 99 cent wedding ceremony held at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)Bonnie Cam and Jon Nguyen pay for their 99 cent wedding ceremony at a checkout at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)Lesley Barragan and John Tinker walk down food aisles before their 99 cent wedding ceremony at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)The 99 Cents Only Stores parking lot where an 88-year-old woman was assaulted is seen in this image from Google Maps.

Employing around 14,000 workers, the company said it reached an agreement with Hilco Global to liquidate all of its merchandise and dispose of certain furnishings, fixtures and equipment at the stores. 

“99 Cents Only Stores, together with its financial and legal advisors, engaged in an extensive analysis of all available and credible alternatives to identify a solution that would allow the business to continue,” the company said. “Following months of actively pursuing these alternatives, the company ultimately determined that an orderly wind-down was necessary and the best way to maximize the value of 99 Cents Only Stores' assets.”

Founded in Los Angeles in 1982 by David Gold, 99 Cents Only “pioneered the single-price retail concept,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

During that era, dollar stores were seen as places that sold mostly junk or unpopular goods. However, Gold aimed to make his stores the opposite of that. He wanted the stores to offer customers good quality, useful products at an everyday price.

For most of the company’s existence, the items they sold remained at 99 cents. That only changed in 2008 when prices were forced to change due to inflation, higher minimum wages and rising food costs, according to the Times.

In 2011, the company was sold in a $1.6 billion buyout to private equity firm Ares Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

An official closing date has yet to be announced by the company. Liquidation sales will begin on Friday, April 5.

“We deeply appreciate the dedicated employees, customers, partners, and communities who have collectively supported 99 Cents Only Stores for decades,” Simoncic said.

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