Some bargain stores thrive in tough economy
Posted March 13, 2009
Angie Marcos
Staff Writer

With the current economy causing many retail stores to lose business and even close permanently, some bargain stores are faring well.

Indeed the worst economic slump this country has seen in several decades, seems to have benefited some bargain and thrift stores, at least those near the University of La Verne.

The 99 Cents Only Store on Arrow Highway in Pomona has seen an increase in business during the past several months, according to store manager Adelmira Ramos.

“We are expecting to have more customers because of the bad economy,” Ramos said.

According to Ramos, business keeps going up every year for the 99 Cents Only Store chain. Instead of closing down stores, the chain of bargain stores keeps opening new stores, including one under construction on Foothill Boulevard in La Verne.

The 99 Cents Only Store has opened 20 new stores every year for quite some time, Ramos said, with no plans for slowing down.

Lutheran High Thrift Shop, on Bonita Avenue in La Verne, has seen its sales remain consistent as well.

“Some days are better than others,” said Michael Anctil, a clerk at the thrift store. Although the store hasn’t seen a fall in its daily sales, Anctil said that it has seen a decline in donations to the shop.

“People are hanging on to their stuff a little bit more,” he said. Even so, the thrift shop sales still remain strong, Anctil said.

Used bookstore The Book Rack on Foothill Boulevard in Verne, which offers discounts between 20 percent and 70 percent will buy back used books in fair condition for store credit.

The store lost business at the end of last year, said Book Rack owner Yoome Pannavalee.

“(But) it’s picked back up,” Pannavalee said.

“We’re fairly cheap entertainment.”

Pannavalee added that she has not adjusted her prices during the last year.

She said that she is able to offer new books to her customers at a lower price because she shares the publisher’s discount with her own customers.

Pannavalee added that she hopes this will continue to draw more customers to her store during these hard economic times.

Angie Marcos can be reached at

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