99-Cent Only Stores staying in Texas after all

99-Cent Only Stores opened its first stores in Texas in 2003. After disappointing sales over the years, the company had pretty much decided to close the 48 Texas stores operating in 2008. But the recession has brought some good news for the store's Texas employees.

In February this year, the company noticed improvements in store sales and as well as favorable upside, thanks to the recession. It announced that instead of closing all of its Texas stores, it would only close 15 of them.

It would also suspend exit plans for another six months before deciding what to do with its Texas operations.

Earlier this month, CEO Eric Schiffer announced that 99-Cent Only Stores would be remaining in Texas indefinitely. First quarter Texas same-store sales for fiscal 2010 saw an increase of 23.6% over last year, nearly eliminating the costs and losses from closing 15 Texas stores.

Schiffer also said that the distribution of a broader line of goods is helping to attract many new customers who need to save on everyday household needs in these tough economic times.

By focusing on improved merchandising practices, labor-saving methods and maintaining a positive store experience with enhanced customer service, Schiffer said he is confident that the company can keep its new-found customer base and increase profitability, even after the recession has ended.

The company's net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, for the entire Company, including Texas, increased to $9.5 million, compared to a net loss of $1.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

99-Cent Only Stores now operate 33 stores in Texas, employing more than 1,000 Texans, who I'm quite sure are happy to know their jobs are secure.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes tips and ideas for home decorating using only items from the dollar store.

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