In this Sept. 8, 2008 file photo, Jacques Elsair shops at a 99 Cents Only Store in Los Angeles. Credit: Nick Ut
Beverly Hills has a reputation as having most upscale shopping in Southern California, which puts it high in the running for some of the best shopping in the world. But high-dollar shoppers may soon see an unfamiliar retailer among the big name, big ticket shops like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada.
Eric Schiffer, the CEO of the discount chain 99 Cents Only, announced recently that they have plans to open a location in Beverly Hills’ exclusive shopping district citing that the best-performing store in the entire chain is the location on Wilshire Boulevard closest to Beverly Hills.
“That store does an incredible volume, it does more than twice average store in our chain,” said Schiffer. “We know many customers are driving from Beverly Hills to shop at 99, and they have been saying ‘Please open a location in Beverly Hills.”
But there has been pushback from the city, which believes that a discount retailer like 99 Cents Only simply wouldn’t fit in among the glamour and cachet of Rodeo Drive.
“What we’re talking about here is, is there a landlord on Rodeo Dr. who would lease to a 99 Cent Store amongst Dior, amongst Prada, amongst Chanel, amongst Cariter, and I think strongly the answer is probably not,” said Brian Rpsenstein, vice chair of the Beverly Hills planning commission. “At the same time, that’s not to say that the 99 Cent Store isn’t appropriate for Beverly Hills….but Rodeo Drive is known for its luxury and elegance…I just don’t think that 99 Cent Store fits in there.”
How can discount stores attract customers in exclusive locales like Beverly Hills? How can ‘discount’ and ‘exclusive’ strike a balance for wealthy bargain shoppers?
Eric Schiffer, CEO, 99 Cents Only Stores
Brian Rosenstein, vice chair of the Beverly Hills planning commission, candidate for Beverly Hills city council
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