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LA County to propose ways to help 99 Cents Only Stores employees 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected Tuesday to direct its staff to prepare a report on ways the county might be able to provide financial and other support to people losing their jobs due to the closure of 99 Cents Only stores in the area.

“I am worried about the thousands of 99 Cents Store workers across L.A. County who are going to lose their jobs, but L.A. County is ready to help,” Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement.

“We have a department that can step in during an event like this and help workers with not only short-term assistance to get through this difficult time, but job training and support to help them get a better job.”

The board will vote on a motion by Hahn that requests a report within 60 days from the county departments of Economic Opportunity and Consumer and Business Affairs.

On Thursday, the Commerce-based operators of the stores announced they would shutter all 371 locations, affecting stores in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas. The stores began liquidation sales on Friday.

“This was an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve,” interim company CEO Mike Simoncic said in a statement issued Thursday. “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.

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

According to the company, it has partnered with Hilco Real Estate to facility a liquidation of all merchandise, along with “certain fixtures, furnishings and equipment at the company’s stores.”

The 99 Cents Only Stores were founded in 1982.

Late last week, a former president of Big Lots and the original Pic ‘N’ Save brand told Los Angeles Magazine he is exploring an effort to save the 143 99 Cent Store outlets in Southern California.

Mark J. Miller said he has put together a group of investors, including some former 99 Cents Store executives, to try to acquire the Southern California stores, close them for about 90 days after the going-out-of-business sales end and then reopen with an emphasis on the “treasure hunt” style that made the stores popular in the first place.


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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