American discount retailer 99 Cents Only Stores has announced plans to start an orderly closure of its business operations.  

The retailer has agreed with financial services company Hilco Global to liquidate all merchandise and dispose of fixtures, furnishings and equipment at its premises.  

99 Cents has been conducting an extensive analysis of all available and credible alternatives, along with its financial and legal advisors, to avoid the closure, but now believes that an orderly wind-down is the best way to maximise the value of its assets. 

The liquidation sales are expected to begin on 5 April 2024 and will be carried out at all 371 locations. 

Hilco Real Estate is managing the sale of the company’s real estate assets, both owned and leased, in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas.  

Alvarez & Marsal managing director Chris Wells has been appointed as chief restructuring officer.  

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The retailer’s interim chief executive officer and Alvarez & Marsal managing director Mike Simoncic will step down from his role. 

Simoncic said: “This was an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve.  

“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 macroeconomic 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.”