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Dollar Tree takes over 99 Cents

Chances are that many will be giving their two-cents worth regarding the news that 99 Cent Only Stores, including the one in Boulder City, have been thrown a lifeline by a former competitor — Dollar Tree.

It was announced last Thursday that Dollar Tree acquired designation rights for 170 leases of 99 Cents Only Stores across Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas. The deal was completed via two transactions in May that were approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, dated May 23. As part of the transactions, Dollar Tree also acquired the North American intellectual property of 99 Cents Only Stores and select on-site furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

In April, California-based 99 Cents Only Stores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, announcing the closures of its 371 stores, including the one in Boulder City. As of February of this year, Dollar Tree was operating 16,774 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces.

“As we continue to execute on our accelerated growth strategy for the Dollar Tree brand, this was an attractive opportunity to secure leases in priority markets where we see strong profitable growth potential,” Dollar Tree Chief Operating Officer Michael Creedon, Jr. said in a release. “The portfolio complements our existing footprint and will provide us access to high quality real estate assets in premium retail centers, enabling us to rapidly grow the Dollar Tree brand across the western United States, reaching even more customers and communities.”

The release added, “Dollar Tree looks forward to welcoming customers from 99 Cents Only Stores as early as fall 2024.”

But getting confirmation as to exactly which of 99 Cent’s 371 closed stores make up that 170 has been a bit challenging.

An email to Dollar Tree’s media team was returned to the Review with a generic response asking to text questions to a specific phone number. Once that was done, a response stated, “We aren’t releasing a list but it is public record.”

Dozens of media outlets across the country reported that Bill Read, an executive vice president at the Georgia-based commercial real estate firm of Retail Specialists, posted on LinkedIn a list of 112 locations that Dollar Tree acquired. He added a subsequent post with 58 locations, which total 170. Boulder City is on that list, as is a pair of Las Vegas locations.

The Review reached out to Read, who responded quickly with not only the list he posted but court documents that included those locations on the lists. Following a subsequent email to Read, asking his connection or that of Retail Specialists to this deal between the two discount stores, Read called the Review.

“I have absolutely zero connection to either. This type of thing is something I follow closely and I’m very cautious as to what I post,” he said, noting that the Wall Street Journal recently mentioned him in an unrelated business story.

Read said he was surprised with the number of articles and news clips online, including the L.A. Times and KTLA out of Los Angeles, citing his Linkedin post and naming him. He added that the Review was one of the few news organizations to contact him directly and ask the connection between himself at the discount stores.

“So, no, I don’t work for Dollar Tree or 99 Cent Stores,” he added.

In comments provided to KTLA, which Read said the Review also could use, he said, “99 Cents Only Stores had 333 leases and 44 owned locations. Dollar Tree taking 170 locations is a big, bold move, showing the desirability of the locations and markets. 99 Cents Only had really good locations and the availability of good space is currently constrained and it only made sense there would be a ton of interest. Dollar Tree is a perfect fit for these locations and has better financial strength than the previous owners.”

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware court document lists 800 Buchanan Blvd., along with the others under Address/Asset and Successful Bidder as Dollar Tree. Later in the document, it shows the Boulder City location and lists the monthly lease total being $19,283. As Read pointed out, once a company absorbs these leases, they begin immediately. So even though they may not reopen until the fall, Dollar Tree is now paying rent. Read said he’s quite certain that the 99 Cent locations will be converted to Dollar Trees.

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