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What the 99 Cents Only Stores Closure Means to Californians

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99 Cents Only storefront
99 Cents Only Stores storefront and parking lot. (Brent Hondow via Getty Images)

Dollar stores – the bargain chains prevalent in rural areas that sell miscellaneous merchandise at steeply discounted prices – have been blamed for contributing to food deserts and pushing out smaller mom and pop grocers. But the 99 Cents Only chain stood for something different to its fans, according to LA Times reporter Andrea Chang, who says that people relied on the bright and well-organized spaces for good quality merchandise. The California-based company announced that it will be closing all 371 of its stores just as another prominent chain, Family Dollar, plans to shutter 1000 stores. We’ll talk about the history of dollar stores, the impact they have on communities across the country and what happens to the people reliant on them when they leave.

Guests:

Eliza Ronalds-Hannon, senior reporter, Bloomberg

Andrea Chang, wealth reporter, Los Angeles Times

Sara Portnoy, professor of Latinx food studies and food justice, USC; creator and executive producer of "Abuelitas on the Borderlands" film series

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