99 Cents Only Stores Open in Texas

HOUSTON - Commerce, Calif.-based 99 Cents Only has announced plans to open 75 of its discount stores in the competitive Texas market within three years, the Houston Chronicle reports. By 2009, the company aims to operate 150 stores in Texas. Its first two Texas stores opened last week in Copperfield and Atascocita.

99 Cents Only is different than other dollar-type formats in that it targets middle-income and even upscale consumers, analysts note. It offers more food products and fewer gift items than most dollar stores, and has even begun installing gourmet sections, offering items such as virgin olive oil and imported sweets.

The 21-year old company currently has 150 locations in California, Arizona and Nevada.

A spokesman said the company is drawn to Houston partly because of its affordable real estate and because of its large ethnic population, which is similar to California's.

The 800,000-square-foot distribution center that 99 Cents Only will use in Texas was originally built for Albertsons and cost $75 million, according to the newspaper.
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