Private Label Buyer

99 Cents Only Stores Founders Fired By Owners

January 23, 2013

The founding family of 99 Cents Only Stores has been thrown out by its owners, with retail veteran Richard Anicetti and Michael Fung taking over top executive roles.

Eric Schiffer, Jeff Gold and Howard Gold are “no longer with the company,” 99 Cents Only said in a news release. Schiffer is the son-in-law of founder David Gold while Jeff and Howard are his sons. Eric had been serving as CEO.

99 Cents Only Stores is the fourth-largest dollar store chain in the U.S., with more than 311 locations, most of them in California.

Anicetti, who was the CEO of Food Lion for eight years, takes over as interim CEO. Fung, who was the chief financial officer for Walmart’s U.S. operations, will be the interim chief administrative officer.

“Since the first 99¢ Only store opened in 1982, the company has grown into one of the most impressive and differentiated extreme value retailers in the country,” said David Kaplan, board chairman and a senior partner at Ares Management LLC, the private equity firm that bought the company a year ago. “The Gold/Schiffer family has been instrumental in creating this valuable business and establishing the widely admired culture at 99¢ Only Stores. As a result, the company has flourished and today is positioned for continued growth and success.  The Board of Directors thanks Eric, Jeff, Howard and the rest of the Gold/Schiffer family for their contribution and is looking forward to working with Rick, Mike and our dedicated '99ers' to continue our growth trajectory while providing our customers with excellent value as well as a fun and exciting shopping experience.”

The company reported same-store sales increasing 4.3 percent in the fiscal third quarter of 2013, which ended Dec. 29. Net sales were up 8.8 percent in the quarter from a year earlier.

“We expect that business will continue as usual, and we are excited to get to work on fulfilling the company's vision as one of the leading extreme value retailers in the country,” Anicetti said in the release.