Forbes  Dec 8  Comment 
“I think we’re still in the early stages of the Wild West with mobile,” said Greg Peters, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Inform (formerly  NDN.) In a wide-ranging interview, Peters reports enormous change in the devices...
Forbes  Dec 7  Comment 
The formula for making money distributing video news from multiple partners across multiple sites used to be straightforward; and news distribution platform NDN – now renamed “Inform” -- benefited. Back in July 2012, NDN/Inform popped up...
MarketWatch  Sep 1  Comment 
Fresh Market Inc. said late Tuesday its board named Richard Anicetti as the grocery retailer's new president and chief executive officer effective immediately. Anicetti served as president and CEO of Food Lion for eight years. After a transition...
Benzinga  May 26  Comment 
99 Cents Only Stores announced today that Andrew Giancamilli, the Chairman of the company's Board of Directors, is assuming the role of Interim President and CEO, replacing Stéphane Gonthier, who has resigned. A Board Member since 2012, Mr....
SeekingAlpha  Sep 11  Comment 
By SA Transcripts: 99 Cents Only Stores (NYSE:NDN) Q2 2015 Earnings Conference Call September 11, 2014 11:00 AM ET Executives Stephane Gonthier - President and CEO Chris Laurence - Interim CFO Analyst William Reuter - Bank...
SeekingAlpha  Apr 22  Comment 
By Michael Nielsen: Recently, Yahoo (YHOO) has been talking about acquiring a company called News Distribution Network [NDN]. Although the acquisition might just be hearsay, it's still worth paying attention to. If the acquisition goes through,...
MarketWatch  Mar 31  Comment 
Yahoo is in preliminary talks to acquire online-video service News Distribution Network Inc., a deal that would help CEO Mayer compete with Google’s YouTube for viewers and ad dollars.
SeekingAlpha  Feb 11  Comment 
99 Cents Only Stores (NDN) F3Q 2014 Earnings Conference Call February 11, 2014 11:00 AM ET Executives Stephane Gonthier – President and CEO Frank Schools – SVP and CFO Analysts William Reuter – Bank of America Ali...
Benzinga  Sep 12  Comment 
Nordion Inc. (TSX: NDN) (NYSE: NDZ) today announced a strategic realignment of the business designed to focus on improving the execution of Nordion's business strategy. The plan includes transitioning Nordion to a Business Unit model with two...


99 Cent Only Stores (NYSE:NDN) is an extreme value retailer with 275 stores in 4 US states selling brand-name items from groceries to housewares, all of which cost only $0.99. In FY 2010, the company generated $1.3 billion in net sales and $60 million in net income.[1]

Unlike other stores in the retail industry, discount retailers like 99 Cents Only typically do not suffer during economic slowdowns because lower-class and price-conscious middle-class consumers gravitate towards discount stores in order to save money.[2] As a result of the recession, in 2010 the company's net sales and net income increased 4.1% and six-times respectively.[1] The company competes for price-conscious shoppers in an intensely competitive and saturated market, which is dominated by big-box retailers like Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Target (TGT) as well as comparable companies like Family Dollar Stores (FDO) and Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR).

Company Overview

99 Cent Only is the nation's oldest chain of single-priced general retailers, founded in 1982. Like other single-priced general retailers in the market, all items in store locations cost only $0.99, regardless of the product type or item being purchased. Retailers which operate under this $0.99 price point are often commonly referred to as "dollar stores".

The company operates 275 stores in 4 states in the US, with 206 in California, 32 in Texas, 25 in Arizona, and 12 in Nevada. In FY 2010, the company closed a net of 4 stores, mainly in Texas. In 2011, the company plans to increase its store count by 5% with most stores being build in California.[3]

Despite an "extreme value" approach to pricing merchandise, 99 Cents Only cultivates a vendor relationship with many familiar companies, including Hershey's, Dole, Heinz, Johnson & Johnson, Arm & Hammer, and Coca-Cola, among others. By buying in bulk quantities and taking advantage of closeout and newly discontinued merchandise, the company offers customers brand-name products for the same stated price of $0.99.

Business Segments[4]

  • Retail stores (97% of net sales): The bulk of the company's net sales come from 99 Cents Only stores, totaling $1.3 billion in net sales in 2010.
  • Wholesale (3% of net sales): A small percentage of total sales are made through the company's Bargain Wholesale division, which offers merchandise for resale to retailers, distributors, and exporters. Bargain Wholesale sales earned $41 million 2010.

Product Categories[5]

The company categorizes its products in seven different categories:

  • Food and grocery - 54% of net sales
  • Household and housewares - 14% of net sales
  • Health and beauty care - 9% of net sales
  • Hardware - 3% of net sales
  • Stationery and party - 5% of net sales
  • Seasonal - 4% of net sales
  • Other - 10% of net sales

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99 Cents Only vs. Comparable Dollar Stores

99 Cents Only is a discount retailer that competes with other stores that have similar business models. Thus, the company faces direct competition from dollar-store chains, such as Family Dollar Stores (FDO) and Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR) , that sell many of their products at or around $1.

Description of dollar store companies:

  • Family Dollar Stores (FDO): operates 6,655 stores in 44 states. Most of the merchandise the company sells ranges from less than a dollar to around $10 in price, with the majority under $1 per unit.[6]

99 Cents Only vs. Big-Box Sellers

As a discount retailer, 99 Cents Only faces significant competition from big-box sellers like Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Target (TGT), whose enormous scale allows them to extract value in their inventory purchases and pass these savings on to consumers. In some sense, 99 Cents Only is more nimble and less concentrated than big-box competitors, but does not necessarily enjoy the same economies of scale. The company's growth going forward is highly dependent on finding attractive new urban stores to add to its existing base, while avoiding opening up in areas already dominated by major competitors, a challenging task given the market saturation of the US discount retailing industry.

Description of big-box sellers:

  • Wal-Mart (WMT): is the world's third largest company[8] with 7,873 stores worldwide. Because of its mammoth size and buying power, Wal-Mart can buy its products at rock-bottom prices, exchanging high purchase volumes for low cost while passing the savings onto its customers.[9]
  • Target (TGT): operates 1,682 stores in 48 states. Target offers a range of general merchandise in a similar store format to Wal-Mart but targets a higher income demographic than that of Big Lots and Wal-Mart.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. Seeking Alpha "Discount Retailers Thriving in Recession" 7 Jan 2009
  3. NDN 2010 10-K pg. 3
  4. NDN 2010 10-K pg. 3
  5. NDN 2010 10-K pg. 5
  6. FDO 2009 10-K, pg. 8
  7. DLTR 2009 10-K pg. 8
  8. CNN Money "Fortune Global 500"
  9. WMT 2010 10-K, Exhibit 13, pg. 46-47
  10. TGT 2009 10-K, pg. 7
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