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Math problem

September 14, 2008

Re "The almost 1% solution," editorial, Sept. 10

Cute editorial on the clever way 99 Cents Only Stores handled its inevitable price increase without losing its identity, but your math only comes close to being 100% correct.

A 0.99-cent increase is not "a price hike that approaches 1%," it equals 1% exactly. Simple math: 101% of 99 is 99.99. Or 99.9900000000 -- without rounding, the need for a parabolic curve or anything else.

So it is not, as the headline reads, an "almost 1% solution." Whether it solves the balance-sheet concerns remains to be seen, as I assume costs have risen far more than the price hike reflects. But if it helps, that would make it almost a solution, not almost 1%.

Christopher Hoffman

Long Beach

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