99 Cents Only names Starbucks exec to key role
The 99 Cents Only Stores is bringing in a new executive as the company seeks to label itself as more than just a dollar store.
The company announced that Ashok (Ash) Walia has been appointed Chief Financial Officer, where he will be responsible for overseeing finance, accounting, treasury, marketing and IT functions for the Company. Walia's first day is Aug. 27. He will succeed Felicia Thornton, who will continue in her position as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Number Holdings, Inc., the company's direct parent.
"I am delighted to welcome Ash as our new CFO," said Jack Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer of 99 Cents Only Stores. "Ash has decades of highly relevant experience at prominent multinational consumer companies, where his expertise in finance, operations, logistics and supply chain management contributed to significant improvements to operational efficiencies and bottom-line profitability. We believe he will be an excellent fit and is ideally suited to lead the finance, IT and Marketing teams at 99 Cents Only Stores as we execute our operational, financial and strategic objectives."
Walia will play a key role in executing a growth strategy Sinclair outlined in the July/August issue of Retail Leader. During the interview, Sinclair explained that he has an aversion to the phrase “dollar store” because he doesn’t think it conveys an image of quality and can hinder the company’s ability to source branded goods. It also doesn’t accurately reflect a business model highly differentiated from other companies who have the word dollar in their name, such as Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar General.
“We’re not a dollar store, we are an extreme value retailer,” said Sinclair. “Our aspiration is to give a lot more people access to the type of value we provide. We are such a unique business.”
Walia brings a wealth of financial leadership, retail and supply chain expertise to his new role at 99 Cents Only Stores. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance at Starbucks Corporation, where he was responsible for leading corporate finance with a focus on controllership, treasury, post M&A integration, global tax and customs as well as U.S. facilities management. Walia holds a Bachelors of Commerce degree from the University of Delhi, New Delhi.
"99 Cents Only Stores is one of the most differentiated names in deep-discount retail and I couldn't be more excited to serve as the Company's new CFO,” said Walia. “The talented team at 99 Cents Only Stores has created a solid foundation and I look forward to building on the strong operating momentum and helping the Company achieve the next level of growth and profitability."