Los Angeles County is working to help thousands of employees who will be laid off when all 99 Cents Only stores close this summer.

Following the April 4 announcement that all 371 stores across California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas would be shuttering amid financial difficulties, local officials are stepping in to help.

In California, there are over 3,700 workers across 143 stores, three distribution centers and one headquarters location that will be out of work. In L.A. County alone, there are 94 stores and three distribution centers, supporting around 2,500 jobs.

Local officials, including Mayor Karen Bass and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, have vowed to help the displaced workers by offering free job-searching help and career assistance.

On Saturday, officials hosted a “Good Jobs Fair” offering help with unemployment insurance, housing and tenant support, medical coverage options, job search and placement, public and health benefits, retirement plans, WIC program, food distribution, and more.  

“This is an all-hands-on-deck situation,” said L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who wrote the motion seeking help from the departments of Economic Opportunity and Consumer and Business Affairs. “The County is stepping in to make sure these workers have the support they need to get through this crisis, and not only get new jobs – but better jobs.”

  • Storewide discounts seen at a 99 Cents Only store in Hollywood, California on April 9, 2024. (KTLA)
  • Storewide discounts seen at a 99 Cents Only store in Hollywood, California on April 9, 2024. (KTLA)
  • Shoppers buying items during a liquidation sale at a 99 Cents Only store in Hollywood, California on April 9, 2024. (KTLA)
  • A liquidation sale has cleared shelves at a 99 Cents Only store in Hollywood, California on April 9, 2024. (KTLA)
  • A shopper browsing for frozen food items at a 99 Cents Only store in Hollywood, California on April 9, 2024. (KTLA)
  • Shoppers browsing fresh produce at a 99 Cents Only store in Hollywood, California on April 9, 2024. (KTLA)

The motion, which was approved unanimously by board members, called for Rapid Response efforts focused on enhanced job training, job placement and connection to resources.  

“You’ve got cashiers, stock and warehousing workers, drivers, supervisors, managers and more now displaced and in need of urgent support to get back on their feet,” said Kelly LoBianco, Director of the L.A. County Department of Economic Opportunity.

Headquartered in the city of Commerce, 99 Cents Only officials cited several reasons for the mass closure including financial difficulties from the pandemic, rising inflation and changing consumer demand.

“This was an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve,” said Mike Simoncic, Interim CEO of 99 Cents Only. “Unfortunately, the last several years have presented significant and lasting challenges in the retail environment…all of which have greatly hindered the Company’s ability to operate.”

  • Jacques Elsair shops at the 99 cent Only store in Los Angeles Monday, Sept 8, 2008. The discount retailer announced Monday the first price increase in the chain's 26-year history by raising the cost of household items, food and other items by almost a penny. The company blamed rising inflation, food and energy prices for the new 99.99 cent price. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
  • A 99 Cents Only store in Lakewood, California. (Getty Images)
  • Customer Michele White, left, talks with cashier Keyla Gaitan, right at the 99 Cents Only Store in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 8, 2008. Discounter 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. said Monday it will raise prices, including increasing its top price, to "99.99" cents, or nearly a dollar. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
  • Jodi Jill (Cq), shops for holiday gifts at 99 Cents store Los Angeles. Jill recently lost her job when the car dealership she worked for went under, has to trimmed down her budget to 200 bucks for 22 people. Shoppers battered by a tough economy are taking out their worries on their holiday gift lists. Gifters are cutting down their budgets and the number of recipients, and increasingly turning to hand and homemade gifts, items from discount stores and online bargains. (Photo by Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
  • Emilia pushes her cart around the store (Courtesy 99 Cent Only Stores)
  • A 99 Cents Only store in California. (Getty Images)
  • Marta Lara,left, helps Anita Hernandez at 99 Cent Store, in Los Angeles Monday, Sept 8, 2008. The discount retailer announced Monday the first price increase in the chain's 26-year history by raising the cost of household items, food and other items by almost a penny. The company blamed rising inflation, food and energy prices for the new 99.99 cent price. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
  • Don Ostrov, 84, from Beverly Hills, Calif., shops at a 99 Cents Only Store in Los Angeles Monday, Sept 8, 2008. Discounter 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. said Monday it will raise prices, including increasing its top price, to "99.99" cents, or nearly a dollar. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
  • Close Farley zooms through a Los Angeles 99 cent store while on a shopping spree. Ann Close–Farley is costume designer for the wacky annual 99–Cent Store Holiday Show. The award–winning designer actually goes to 99 cent stores for materials. (Photo by Stephen Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
  • Shoppers use plastic grocery bags after shopping at the 99 Cents Only Store on June 18, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
  • Dave Gold, founder of 99 Cents Only Stores, has died.
  • US Marine Whillis Hall, Jr. right, and bride Emily Wiley, react after getting married along other nine couples at the 99 Cent store in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sep. 09, 2009. The discount chain will send the couples off in a limousine, with $99.99 in cash, and take them to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" spot. All nine couples who got married in the store also will get a free night's stay, including dinner, at the Hotel Angeleno. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
  • Groom Jon Nguyen, far right, and his bride, Bonnie Cam, middle, holding their daughter, Autumn, wait with other couples to be married at the 99 Cent store in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sep. 09, 2009. The discount chain will send the couples off in a limousine, with $99.99 in cash, and take them to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" spot. All nine couples who got married in the store also will get a free night's stay, including dinner, at the Hotel Angeleno. Other people are not identified. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
  • Gwen Whitmore waits for her 99 cent wedding ceremony at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Lesley Barragan and John Tinker smile as they look at the rings after their 99 cent wedding ceremony at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Denisse Navarro and Guadalupe Villagrana embrace after their 99 cent wedding ceremony held at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Shoppers use plastic grocery bags after shopping at the 99 Cents Only Store on June 18, 2013 in Los Angeles.
  • Bonnie Cam and Jon Nguyen pay for their 99 cent wedding ceremony at a checkout at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Lesley Barragan and John Tinker walk down food aisles before their 99 cent wedding ceremony at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Emily Wiley waits amongst the food aisles before her 99 cent wedding ceremony at the 99 cent store in Los Angeles on September 9, 2009. The budget supermarket chain helped nine happy California couples beat the recession blues by offering cut-price wedding ceremonies -- for just 99 cents each. The 99 Cents Only Stores chain is picking up the tab for nine couples at its branch on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood on Wednesday to mark the ninth day of the nine month in 2009. After getting hitched, the nine couples were handed 99 dollars and 99 cents in cash before being whisked off to an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" location. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
  • The 99 Cents Only Stores parking lot where an 88-year-old woman was assaulted is seen in this image from Google Maps.

The popular discount chain was famous for its wide variety of items at reasonable prices including household goods, fresh groceries, snacks, office supplies, health and beauty products, party supplies and more.

Founded in Los Angeles in 1982 by David Gold, 99 Cents Only “pioneered the single-price retail concept,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

During that era, dollar stores were seen as places that sold mostly junk or unpopular goods. However, Gold aimed to make his stores the opposite of that. He wanted the stores to offer customers good quality, useful products at an everyday price.

Since the closure announcement, there have been efforts by a potential investor group to save the majority of 99 Cents Only stores still operating in California.

Mark Miller, CEO of Pic ‘N’ Save Bargains and former president of Big Lots, is leading efforts to purchase the discount stores and keep the company alive in the Golden State.

“It’s a passion for me to try and do this deal because I think it’s such an iconic brand name and has such a great feel for Southern California,” Miller told Los Angeles Magazine.

Miller has put together a team that includes former 99 Cents Store executives to potentially acquire the stores, which he said serve an important role in local communities for those living on a budget.

“This group of customers is priced out of other chains,” Miller explained to L.A. Magazine. “It stretches their buying power. Especially today. That’s why this is a passion for me.”

Employing around 14,000 workers across four states, the company has begun liquidating all merchandise and disposing of furnishings, fixtures and equipment at the stores. 

All locations will officially close on June 5. 

“We deeply appreciate the dedicated employees, customers, partners, and communities who have collectively supported 99 Cents Only Stores for decades,” Simoncic said.

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