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SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-Business looks like it is booming at The 99 Cent Store on Street St. in Santa Barbara.

The State Street entrance is closed, but the parking lot by the back entrance Haley St. appeared full on Monday.

Many people said they just learned that the California-based chain is shutting all  of it 371 stores in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas.

The 99 Cents Only company has stores in  Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria , Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Ventura , Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Camarillo.

Some stores in Los Angeles have already closed, but other stores, including the one in Santa Barbara another in Port Hueneme, started liquidating on Sunday.

Port Hueneme posted 10 percent off signs.

Workers in Santa Barbara said their managers were blind-sided by the situation.

They said their store would close June 3.

The company blames financial difficulties, stemming from the pandemic, changing consumer demand, and rising inflation.

Lupita Martinez wondered if online shopping hurt their business model.

“I just noticed it today when I got into the store that they are closing I didn’t even know.,” said Martinez, “It is a shame because I like to shop in there they always have a good stuff in there and um but you know the the economy is getting so bad everything is so expensive.”

There is a glimmer of hope.

Mark j. Miller, CEO of Pic ‘n’ Save Bargains and the former President of Big Lots, said he hopes to save the 143 locations in Southern California.

Santa Barbara workers said they are not sure that would work with their big building.

The 400 block of State St. has several other vacancies and for lease signs.

Your News Channel will have more reaction tonight on the news.

The post Shoppers look for deals as “99 Cents Only Stores” begin to liquidate appeared first on News Channel 3-12.