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99 Cents Only Posts Net Loss, Comp Store Gains In Shorter Fiscal Year

For a shortened, 44-week fiscal year that ended January 31, 99 Cents Only Stores LLC posted a net loss of $12.5 million versus a net loss of $8.9 million in the fiscal year earlier. In the 10-month fiscal 2014, comparable store sales gained 3.7%, the company reported, as total sales came in at $1.53 billion versus $1.67 billion in the year prior.

As it had previously announced, 99 Cents Only changed its fiscal year from the Saturday closest to the end of March to the Friday closest to the end of January.

The company pointed out that sales per store open at least 12 months, on a trailing 52-week basis, increased to $5.4 million in fiscal 2014 from $5.3 million in fiscal 2013.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made on implementing our strategic plan to accelerate store growth and improve sales and margin,” Stephane Gonthier, 99 Cents Only CEO, stated in announcing the financial results.  We are also encouraged by the favorable responses from our consumers to our Go-Taller program, which has retrofitted the display shelving from a height of 54 inches to 78 inches at 64 of our stores in the past two months. We are on track to complete the retrofits by September 2014.”

During the 10-month fiscal 2014, 99 Cents Only related, the company opened 27 net new stores, adding that, at the end of fiscal 2014, it operated 343 stores, 8.5% more than the end of fiscal 2013.