Changing of the guard at 99¢ Only Stores as acquirer Ares Management fills top exec spots

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — 99¢ Only Stores last week announced that Richard Anicetti has assumed the role of interim CEO. In addition, Michael Fung will join the company as interim chief administrative officer overseeing finance, information technology, real estate and various administrative functions of the company. 

In connection with the foregoing changes, the original family management team Eric Schiffer, Jeff Gold and Howard Gold are no longer employed by the company. 

"Since the first 99¢ Only store opened in 1982, the company has grown into one of the most impressive and differentiated extreme value retailers in the country," stated David Kaplan, chairman and senior partner of Ares Management, which acquired 99¢ Only Stores a year ago. "The Gold/Schiffer family has been instrumental in creating this valuable business and establishing the widely-admired culture at 99¢ Only Stores. As a result, the company has flourished and today is positioned for continued growth and success."

Anicetti has served on the board for the past eight months, and brings more than 20 years of senior management experience in the food retail business, including serving for eight years as president and CEO of Food Lion grocery stores, a subsidiary of the Delhaize Group. In addition, he has been a member of the boards of directors at several other food industry companies, the company noted. 

Fung brings more than 30 years of experience in value-oriented retail and finance, most recently serving as SVP and CFO of Walmart Stores' U.S. operations.

"Over the next several weeks, Mike and I will be working with other members of the senior management team and the board of directors to ensure a smooth transition," Anicetti said. "We expect that business will continue as usual, and we are excited to get to work on fulfilling the company's vision as one of the leading extreme value retailers in the country."

99¢ Only Stores also reported continued revenue growth for the holiday season and the third quarter of fiscal 2013 ended Dec. 29, 2012. Net sales increased $35.6 million, or 8.8%, to $439.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Same-store sales, calculated on a comparable 13-week period, increased 4.3%.