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Quoted: Executives of the 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. proclaimed they would be opening a new location in Beverly Hills on formerly posh Rodeo Drive."

I love the 99 Cent Stores! I shop there all the time. The founder of the company is an incredible person as well as a visionary.

The founder of 99¢ Only, David Gold, most likely drew his inspiration for the deep-discount chain he created from an epiphany decades before he opened his first store. While Gold was working at a liquor store he co-owned with his brother-in-law, he reportedly noticed that bottles of wine priced at $.99 sold better than bottles priced just a few pennies more. The allure, he knew, was more psychological than financial, a ploy on the minds' of consumers that was universally effective. He vowed to open his own store one day that offered a full gamut of merchandise all priced under one dollar, but for years his entrepreneurial plan remained on the drawing board. Before putting his plan into action, Gold, the son of Russian immigrants, established himself in a business that required many of the same talents he would need to make his dream a reality. Gold began as a wholesaler, starting his own operation in 1976 that purchased and sold name brand, closeout merchandise. It was Gold's responsibility to locate the best bargains and then find retailers willing to purchase the merchandise, a task that he executed with skill. One of Gold's competitors would later note as much, remarking that Gold was "the best merchant I've ever seen." Other observers directed more praise Gold's way, with one of his retail customers describing a particular talent that was indispensable in the discount business arena. "He has a retentive, calculator mind," the candy retailer explained, referring to Gold. "He will remember the price of something you showed him a year or two earlier, even if he didn't buy it." His native inclinations served him well in the wholesale business, but always in the back of Gold's mind was the desire to open his own "dollar store." It took until Gold was in his 50s to finally put his liquor-store observations to the test, but when he did take that first fateful step, his seasoned experience as a bargain hunter bred instant success.

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