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99 Cents Only caps record year of expansion


A record number of openings in 2014 pushed 99 Cents Only close to the 400 unit mark, but the rapid pace of expansion did not translate to profitability during what the company called a transformative year.

Sales increased 8.1% to $512.6 million and same store sales increased 2.8% during the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30. The company reported a net loss of $2.3 million during the period. While that was better than a loss of $14.7 million during the fourth quarter period the prior year, the improvement was driven by a reduction in workers’ compensation expense. A total of 21 net new stores opened during the quarter, giving the retailer a year-end total of 383 locations.

"We are pleased with the progress that we have made during what was a transformative year, as we executed on key elements of our long-term strategic plan,” said Stéphane Gonthier, president and CEO of 99 Cents Only. “We opened a record 40 net new stores during the year and completed a major store remodeling program under our ‘Go Taller’ initiative, while at the same time upgrading many of our legacy IT systems. We made significant progress in enhancing our seasonal and general merchandise offerings and continue to work hard on expanding the selection of everyday consumables in our stores. We are also pleased that we have been able to attract a number of experienced store and regional operational team members to the company, and we have added key members to the executive team.”

For the full-year, sales increased 6.3% to nearly $2 billion while same store sales increased a marginal 0.4%. The company was profitable on a full-year basis with net income totaling $5.5 million compared to a loss of $10.9 million the prior year.

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