COMMERCE, Calif. — 99 Cents Only Stores here said this week it will expand its tests of merchandise priced above $1 following "very positive" customer reactions to its tests with gallons of milk.
"Experiments with items over a buck is something that we'll be looking at more this year," Eric Schiffer, chief executive officer, told analysts during a conference call to discuss financial results for the fiscal year and fourth quarter that ended April 2.
Schiffer said 110 of the company's 285 stores sell gallons of milk priced over $1, "and we're looking to bring another 25 to 30 stores on line in the next couple of weeks." Most of those stores are in Texas, with the balance in California, he said. Stores in Arizona and Nevada do not carry milk, he added.
"Customers have been very positive in their reactions," Schiffer noted. "Obviously it's a strategic item and [having it available] means they don't have to go to supermarkets as frequently. So our long-term plan is to continue to get it into all the stores."
For the 14-week fourth quarter, net income rose 5.9% to $17.9 million, while sales grew 11.6% to $378.5 million, including a boost of $27.9 million from the extra week. Comparable-store sales rose 0.5% on a 13-week comparison. For the 53-week year net income increased 22.9% to $74.3 million, while sales were up 5% to $1.42 billion and comps climbed 0.7% on a 52-week comparison.