Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: No more 99 Cents in Texas
99 Cents, which sells a variety of household, food and other items often priced at 99 cents, says it will now focus on its core markets of California, Arizona and Nevada, where it has 230 stores that make up 90 percent of its sales.
Those states are also some of the hardest-hit by the U.S. housing crisis and credit crunch, and consumers pressured by rising gas and food prices are trading down from higher-priced stores to discounters to save money, a positive for 99 Cents.
99 Cents said its 48-store Texas operation lost $15 million or 15 cents per share in operating income over the past fiscal year, which ended June 28, and the stores were only generating slightly more than half of the average sales in its non-Texas stores. That suggests Texans are still able to afford hitting a Wal-Mart or Target instead of trading down to 99 Cents.
Also check out: