Ronald Friedman, Co-Leader, Retail/Consumer Products Industry Group, Quoted in Los Angeles Times Article "99 Cents Only Eyes Beverly Hills Location"
Los Angeles Times
By Shan Li
Discount chain 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. is shopping on Rodeo Drive.
The City of Commerce retailer, which has thrived in the economic downturn, announced that it was scouting real estate on the iconic street in Beverly Hills to open its flagship store, said Eric Schiffer, the company’s chief executive.
“We know many customers are driving from Beverly Hills to shop at 99, and they have been saying ‘Please open a location in Beverly Hills,'” he said.
Schiffer said the posh customers expected to shop at a new Rodeo Drive store are now driving to the 99 Cents store on Wilshire Boulevard near Beverly Hills. It is the best-performing store in the entire chain, pulling in sales of nearly $12 million last year, compared with the average of $5.2 million.
The rent will be high, but these guys can afford it,” said Ron Friedman, a retail expert at accounting and advisory firm Marcum in Los Angeles. “But how do you get a 99 Cents store on Rodeo Drive when you have these great, high-end luxury brands there? What landlord would want to do that?”
Schiffer concedes finding a spot will be “challenging.” But he predicts that economic reality will trump any snob factor.