Founder of 99 Cents Only stores, Dave Gold, dies


Dave Gold launched his 99 Cents Only Stores empire in Los Angeles at age 50.



The man who founded the popular 99 Cents Only store chain, Dave Gold, has died. He was 80.

His, son, Jeff Gold, said his father died Monday of an apparent heart attack at his Mid-Wilshire home, in California, AP reported.

Gold opened his first 99 Cents Only store in Los Angeles in 1982. At the time no one imagined it would become a multimillion dollar empire, spreading to 300 stores in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. 

The Los Angeles Times reported that Gold's business idea was sparked after noticing that customers at a liquor store where he worked were quick to buy items on sale for $1.02 or 98 cents. 

"When I put a 99 cent sign on anything, it was gone in no time. I realized it was a magic number. I thought, wouldn't it be fun to have a store where everything was good quality and everything was 99 cents?" he said in an interview in 2003.

He was right, and the business flourished. 

In 2011, Gold sold the company for about $1.6 billion, the Washington Post reported.

Despite his wealth, Gold lived in the same middle-class home for almost 50 years and drove the same car, a Toyota Prius, which he purchased in 2000. 

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sherry, three children, and five grandchildren.