99 Cents Only and its 384 stores ended the fiscal year with quite encouraging prospects. Sales have been growing enough to reach a positive income of $5,5 millions. Considering their previous year had closed with an accumulated $10,9 millions loss, the least one can say is that it's a remarkable result. The company had to rethink a lot of things to get there, and hopefully these improvements will have a lasting impact. The stores have been refurbished, along with a “Go Taller” tactic: shelves have been raised by 18 inches. Not 17, not 19. Perhaps because 9+9=18. Anyway, the idea was to submit an improved customer experience. 99 Cents Only also augmented its product offerings in various ranges, developed seasonal merchandise and deals, added frozen food and meats permanent counters. Multi-price labelling played its part too. And last Christmas naturally was the peak of this whole renewal operation.
David Gold opened his first store in 1982, he was already 50 at the time. He had been thinking about a low-price retailing concept for a long time and ran a successful business for the next 30 years until he died, two years ago. The choice of “99” cents was the conclusion of the pionner's experience as a liquor store owner: when pricing items on sale, he quickly noticed that 99 cents was the hottest seller. Since cheap prices are frequently related to bad products in the common spirit, the stores had to be attractive, clear, clean, well ordered, and display goods of quality. 99 Cents Only's advertising campaigns became famous for their sense of humour and it gave the company a genuine and sympathetic image. Last but not least, every store opening has been traditionally celebrated in the same way since day one: a very pricey item is sold 99 cents to the first 9 customers, the 99 following persons getting rather great deals too. Keep an eye open if you're located in California: flat screen LCD TVs are the special feature for several opening in the next few days.
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