99cent Stores Celebrate Eclecticism in LA

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Almost everything sells for 99cents at the 99cents Only stores in LA. They have a variety of household items, few name brand items, but most are off brands or generic that most people haven’t heard of. They are often cheaper in quality. The stores are brightly lit and have a characteristic jammed packed feel and. Items are colorful and cheap. People don’t have to be wealthy to own some stuff, a lot of stuff, if they shop here.

Founded in 1982 by Dave Gold, headquartered in Commerce, California, this company is very much a Southern California phenomenon. There are a few stores in Nevada, Arizona, and Texas. The store gained fame in the art world when Andreas Gursky’s photograph of the inside of the 99cent store in Hollywood, CA auctioned for $3.3 million in 2007.

“When I put a 99 cent sign on anything, it was gone in no time. I realized it was a magic number.” -Dave Gold

Stores sell items for 99.99 cents due to inflation. With tax, an item comes out to be over a dollar, but that’s not the point. Gold added to the eclectic culture of Southern California. The stores don’t just appeal to poor people. They do well in wealthy communities too. People shop there for many reasons.

1. Convenience. They are everywhere. Almost everywhere in LA.
2. Cheap stuff.
3. Check out the variety.
4. They have produce, though most of the time, they are not very fresh.
5. They have a lot of colorful, plastic things, for those who are into plastic.
6. They stock up for seasonal items, like the holidays.
7. Lots of random things if people are looking for some stimulation.
8. Perfect place to shop with grandmas. Bonding time.
9. Cultural coolness

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