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Residents weigh in on 99 Cents Store’s shuttering

In what came as a surprise to many who are frequent shoppers, officials from 99 Cents Only Stores announced last week that all of their 371 locations will be closing over the next several weeks.

This includes Boulder City.

Sales began Friday, according to the closure announcement, as customers grabbed what they could, resulting in lines more than 20 deep.

The chain, which has locations in Nevada, California, Arizona and Texas, has at least 15 stores in Las Vegas, four in Henderson, three in North Las Vegas and one in Boulder City. The company, founded in 1982, is based in Commerce, Calif.

“This was an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve,” Mike Simoncic, interim chief executive officer of 99 Cents Only Stores said in a statement. “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 macro-economic 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.”

The company has entered into an agreement with Hilco Global to liquidate all merchandise and dispose of certain fixtures, furnishings, and equipment at the stores.

Boulder City Chamber of Commerce CEO Jill Rowland Lagan said with the closing of any business in Boulder City, there is a sense of loss.

“This one could be significant based on those it serves,” she said. “The location may open up an opportunity for a grocery store that wouldn’t be hindered by deed restrictions (as is the case of the former Vons building next door). Hopefully there will be interest that comes quickly to keep from having a vacant building for too long.”

The Review posed a question on its Facebook page as to what the store’s closure would mean to residents.

Many of those who responded did so with suggestions of what they’d like to see in that spot. Overwhelmingly, the response was another grocery store with many mentioning Aldi. The Illinois-based Aldi is one of the fastest growing grocery chains in the country as the company plans a major expansion in the next five years. This includes a proposed location on Marks Street in Henderson.

Others said they hope that another discount store such as Dollar Tree moves into the location. However, many of those types of chains are decreasing in size nationwide.

The following are some of the responses the post received:

Nate Losoff

The citizens of Boulder City need to accept that without significant population growth we won’t have another grocery store coming to town. Otherwise, we would have seen a second grocery store in town a long time ago. How many years have we had the same complaint that we think we need another grocery store? Obviously, there are many barriers in place to keep significant growth from happening which means this city isn’t going to gain the population required for another chain to spend the capital required to open a new grocery store. Those chains have already run the numbers based on our population that if they spend all that money then their return on investment will not be sufficient for their business model. It’s simple economics, folks. What’s the old saying you can wish in one hand?

I hope I’m wrong and we actually get a second grocery story, but I don’t see it happening in this decade or probably longer. We’re just going to have find other ways to get groceries.

Donna Vogel Isenhower

What a shame. I always get my produce at the 99 Cent store. People have given me a strange look when I tell them that but then they go in there and figure out for themselves that most of the time their produce is really good and it’s way cheaper than the grocery stores.

I’m so bummed about this.

Lorraine Marie Wylupski

It’s a sad, sad day in Boulder City that we are going to lose our 99 Cent store. I think the cost is just too high in our economy that it made it hard for them to make a big enough profit. I’m hoping we get something into that spot and the abandoned Vons building very soon because more than half of that plaza will be empty and won’t look good for Boulder City.

Joe Gilleo

There are a lot of folks here, living on a limited income and that was probably one of the reasons our 99 Cent store was so popular. Let’s try to find something that will keep the limited-income folks in mind. Sadly, there are not many choices available. Local churches, Lend a Hand, BC Senior Center, etc. are going to need lots of help until a decision happens.

Matt Di Teresa

Perfect opportunity for another food store to take over that space:

■ Established customer base

■ Infrastructure (refrigeration units, etc.) already in place

■ Excellent location with plenty of parking

■ Obviously, the demand already exists

It’s a no-brainer.

Pamela Walters

This is a huge blow to the community, especially people with a limited income. We definitely are in need of another grocery store. We are a large enough city to support two grocery stores. We did it for years in the past. I am sure it’s a huge blow to the employees also. I will miss them, especially the people that work in the evening, I shop in there at that time mainly.

James Cracolici

Having two empty anchor stores in the primary intersection coming into the historic downtown is a bad look for a relatively affluent small town.

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