(LOS ANGELES) — Rodeo Drive is home to some of the most expensive shopping in America, but a dollar store is hoping to set up shop and crash that pricey party. The 99 Cents Only Store is eyeing property on the fancy Los Angeles street, and CEO Eric Schiffer expects it to succeed.
“We think our store will do well,” he said. “Our highest amounts of sales are happening in our branch on Wilshire Boulevard. We know for a fact a lot of customers there are coming from Beverly Hills. This store will be here to stay. The major reason for its success will be the challenging economy which came as the final impetus to open the store.”
While some locals say they’d gladly shop there, others are upset about the discount chain’s imminent arrival. Mikael Choukroun, manager of 208 Rodeo restaurant located on the Rodeo Drive, is concerned about the street losing its high-class identity.
“Hearing news of The 99 Cents Store opening is very disappointing. I worked for 20 years at Les Champs Elysees [in Paris] and I have seen what such stores have done to it. After McDonalds and similar places opened many of the high-end brands left Les Champs Elysees and it’s now full of cheap stores. I can see this happening to Rodeo Drive if they start opening such stores,” said Choukroun.
But Schiffer says his store is meant to appeal to locals and to tourists. “Shops on Rodeo make most of their sales from tourists. When tourists get their basic needs from our store, as opposed to paying a lot more for the same items at their hotels, they will have saved enough to shop on Rodeo,” said Schiffer.
The 99 Cent Stores operates 303 outlets in California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sam Turner, Deseret News
Cristina Alesci Seth Fiegerman and Charles Riley, CNN