Dollar Tree takes 99 cents

Review Ron Eland / Boulder City The now closed 99 Cents Only store in Boulder City is listed under…

Chances are many will throw in their two cents regarding the news that 99 Cent Only Stores, including the one in Boulder City, are being bought by a former competitor – Dollar Tree – as a lifeline.

Last Thursday, it was announced that Dollar Tree has acquired title to 170 leases from 99 Cents Only Stores in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas. The deal was completed in May through two transactions approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on May 23. As part of the transactions, Dollar Tree also acquired the North American intellectual property of 99 Cents Only Stores and selected on-site furniture, fixtures and equipment.

In April, California-based 99 Cents Only Stores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, announcing the closure of its 371 stores, including the one in Boulder City. As of February of this year, Dollar Tree operated 16,774 stores in 48 states and five Canadian provinces.

“As we continue to execute our accelerated growth strategy for the Dollar Tree brand, this was an attractive opportunity to secure leases in priority markets where we see strong profitable growth potential,” said Michael Creedon, Chief Operating Officer of Dollar Tree, Jr. Edition. “The portfolio complements our existing footprint and will provide us with access to high-quality real estate in premium shopping centers, allowing us to rapidly grow the Dollar Tree brand in the Western United States, serving even more customers and communities reaches.”

The release added: “Dollar Tree looks forward to welcoming 99 Cents Only Stores customers as early as fall 2024.”

But getting confirmation on exactly which of 99 Cent’s 371 closed stores represents those 170 has been a bit of a challenge.

An email to Dollar Tree’s media team was returned to the Review with a generic response asking for questions to be sent via text message to a specific phone number. Once that was done, a response read: “We don’t release a list, but it is public.”

Dozens of media outlets across the country reported that Bill Read, an executive vice president at Georgia-based commercial real estate firm Retail Specialists, posted on LinkedIn a list of 112 locations that Dollar Tree had acquired. He added a subsequent post with 58 locations, a total of 170. Boulder City is on that list, as are a few locations in Las Vegas.

The Review contacted Read, who quickly responded with not only the list he posted, but also court documents listing these locations. After a subsequent email to Read asking his or Retail Specialists’ connection to this deal between the two discount stores, Read called the Review.

“I have absolutely no connection with either. I watch these kinds of things closely and I’m very careful about what I post,” he said, noting that the Wall Street Journal recently mentioned him in an unrelated business story.

Read said he was surprised by the number of articles and news clips online, including the LA Times and Los Angeles-based KTLA, citing his Linkedin post and mentioning him by name. He added that the Review was one of the few news organizations to contact him directly and ask about the connection between himself and the discount stores.

“So no, I don’t work for Dollar Tree or 99 Cent Stores,” he added.

In comments to KTLA, which Read said the Review could also tap into, he said: “99 Cents Only Stores had 333 leases and 44 company-owned locations. Dollar Tree acquiring 170 locations is a big, bold move that demonstrates the desirability of the locations and markets. 99 Cents Only had really good locations and the availability of good space is limited at the moment and it only made sense that there would be a lot of interest. Dollar Tree is a perfect fit for these locations and has better financial strength than the previous owners.”

The court document from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware lists 800 Buchanan Blvd., along with the others under Address/Asset and Successful Bidder as Dollar Tree. Later in the document it shows the Boulder City location and lists the monthly lease total as $19,283. As Read noted, once a company records these leases, they begin immediately. So even though they may not reopen until the fall, Dollar Tree is paying rent now. Read said he’s fairly confident the 99 Cent locations will be converted to Dollar Trees.