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City welcomes new 99 cent store
by Garrett Valenzuela
Nov 01, 2012 | 5625 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela -- Sparks Mayor Geno Martini cuts the grand-opening ribbon for the 99 Cents Only store on Prater Way early Thursday morning.
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela -- Sparks Mayor Geno Martini cuts the grand-opening ribbon for the 99 Cents Only store on Prater Way early Thursday morning.
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Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela -- Sparks High School band member Andrea Gumina accepts a penny from Evan Cohen, director of store communications for 99 Cents Only, Thursday morning before being presented with a $499 check toward the school's band.
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela -- Sparks High School band member Andrea Gumina accepts a penny from Evan Cohen, director of store communications for 99 Cents Only, Thursday morning before being presented with a $499 check toward the school's band.
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SPARKS — Erika Bailey breathed a warm sigh of relief as she grabbed hold of her shopping cart handle early Thursday morning. Bailey had spent 24 consecutive hours outside the doors of the new 99 Cents Only store in anticipation for its grand opening before being rewarded with a 22” LCD television for only $0.99.

The new 99 Cents only store saw hundreds of customers lining up outside its doors Thursday to celebrate the store’s ribbon cutting and grand opening at 580 E. Prater Way in Sparks. Bargains were aplenty with the first nine customers receiving 22” televisions and the next 99 customers receiving a Razor scooter for $0.99.

“I don’t know what possessed me to wait in line for that long,” Bailey said laughing. “I really wanted a TV and the 99 Cents store is one of my favorite places to shop.”

Bailey, a resident of Stead, said she has shopped at the 99 Cents Only store in Reno several times and likes its proximity to her home. However, she said she plans to shop in Sparks because of the large scale of the new store.

“I will probably go to this one more often because they have more here,” she said. “I usually go to the one in Reno, but this one is much bigger. I’m excited to get in here and look around.”

Sparks Mayor Geno Martini was on hand to help cut the ribbon on the opening of the store, saying that the community is proud to have the 99 Cents Only store join the city.

Evan Cohen, director of store communications for 99 Cents Only, said the new facility is about 18,000 square feet and contains everything from basic household items to produce and food items. He said the store's arrival has been about a year-long process and will allow shoppers to find anything they need in one stop.

“The goal is that you can pretty much get anything at 99 Cent Only stores, whether it is your cleaning supplies and household items like toothpaste and shampoos, and we have a great selection of groceries and produce so it really is one-stop shopping,” he said. “We look for shopping centers where people are going for things like office supplies or shoes and make our stores available for them to do some one-stop shopping that saves time and money.”

Cohen said the stock being delivered to the store will be ever-changing allowing for a vast variety of products. He said people will discover a “treasure-hunt mentality” when it comes to shopping at 99 Cents Only.

“That’s one of the things people have to learn about 99 Cents Only stores is that they see great items in our store and then, unfortunately, they are not always here,” Cohen said. “Some of the great bargains we run out of and if we can’t buy it at a good price again we don’t buy the item. So our variety is literally changing day by day.”

Cohen said 99 Cents Only has stores throughout California and Arizona in addition to its Reno, Sparks and Las Vegas stores. He said the enthusiasm of the Sparks community at the grand opening tells his staff that the new location will be profitable.

“I believe a lot of customers in this area of Sparks may have not been to the 99 Cents Only stores, and some people think we are just another dollar store,” he said. “I hope they give us an opportunity and check out the store. We have so many more items than your average dollar store so I think people will be surprised. Just walk in one time and you will be sold.”

Cohen said the tough economic times have people across America looking for ways to save money, which is another reason he believes the store will be popular with its new location.

“Sparks is a community that needs a store like ours. People in this economy need a store where they can get all of their household products, food and grocery at the lowest price possible,” Cohen said. “Many people are on such a fixed income and here they can get so much for their dollar. We want to offer the community a great shopping experience and great value. We want them to know that we are here and that they can get pretty much everything here.”
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