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20 Things You Didn't Know About Five Below

Five Below is an American chain store that offers products that are sold at a tremendous discount. It's been compared to a dollar tree that offers higher value products with pricing that does not exceed five dollars.

This is why the name of the company is called five below. It is truly surprising how many people in America have not heard of the discount franchise. Those who do not have one that is nearby have yet to discover the savings they can find on thousands of everyday items.

This is a popular chain store with an interesting history and business model. There is a lot about them that even loyal and regular shoppers are not aware of so here are 20 things that you didn't know about Five below to fill you in.

1. They've only been around since 2002

The younger generation of shoppers probably can't imagine what it would be like to not have a Below Five store in town to find great deals. Then there are the rest of us who remember how exciting it was when they first opened their doors.

The first Five Below Store opened in Wayne, Pennsylvania in October of 2002. The founders of the company are David Schlessinger and Tom Vellios. The two entrepreneurs put their talents together and opened first one store, then turned their brilliant enterprise into an entire chain of discount stores.

2. Five Below wasn't the first big business for the founders

Here is an interesting fact that we discovered when we were researching the history of Five Below. Schlessinger is also the guy who founded Encore Books as well as Zany Brainy. Tome Vellios, who also helped to establish Five Below was formerly the CEO of Zany Brainy and the two have a long history of successful business ventures together.

3. The owners prefer to open store locations in malls

Once in a while you will find a Five Below as a stand alone store, but this isn't very often the case. As a part of their strategic plan and business model, the owners and directors of the company prefer to open up their five below locations in metropolitan areas, preferably in strip malls and in major shopping centers that have multiple other retailers in operation nearby. One of the reasons that this is such a good idea is that it places the discount store in high traffic areas and it also helps to show how much more shoppers can save on a variety of items that are offered for much more in most cases at the shops that are nearby.

4. Five Below began expansion in 2011

It hasn't been that long since Five Below expanded their reach beyond the Philadelphia Metropolitan area. They first opened stores in Illinois, then in Michigan in 2011. They continued their expansion in 2012 by opening more stores in the chin in Western Michigan, Kansas, Georgia and Missouri.

Just two years later they entered into the State of Texas, and then the following year in 2014, Five Below stores opened in Tennessee. In 2015, they opened Five Below stores in Kentucky, Florida and Alabama and in 2016, the chain expanded yet further into Wisconsin ,West Virginia, Virginia, Oklahoma Minnesota and Louisiana.

The most recent expansion was in 2018 with stores opening in Arkansas with California locations opened in 2017, and there are plans to open yet more stores in Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah in 2019. There are a total of 700 stores open within thirty three states. There are also currently two distribution centers open.

5. They moved their corporate headquarters in 2011

The first big move that Five Below made was to relocate their corporate headquarters in 2011. They moved to a larger headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. At this point in their history they had outgrown their previous location and they were in need of a much larger facility. they moved into an area that other well known companies occupied including Philadelphia Magazine, Merrill Lynch, eResearch Technology and the College of Radiology.

6. They went public in 2012

Five Below went public in July of 2012 and make their first appearance on the Nasdaq. They came in with a share price of $17. This was a huge event in the history of Five Below as they became a publicly traded company and obtained a spot in the marketplace.

7. When Five Below comes in it helps the local economy

Five Below is good for the economy of the communities that they open new locations in. They not only add more jobs for the locals, each store quickly becomes a hub of shopping activity. It's one of the more popular retail chain stores in the nation because of the wide variety of items that they offer for sale and additionally, they're a discount store that offers hundreds of items for lower prices than their competition sells them for. This is why Five Below stores are usually very busy.

8. Five Below provides fundraising opportunities

Another interesting fact that we learned about Five Below is that they offer some really great fund raising opportunities for non profit groups. Many of the local stores form partnerships with local agencies in the community to set up fundraisers.

This gives anyone who receives an invitation from the group that is doing the fundraising to come into the store at a specially designated time to shop and ten percent of all of the sales made by shoppers with the invitations go back to the fundraising organization in the form of a donation.

This is a win win situation for both the organization doing the fundraising and Five Below because they receive a tax break from the government for their donation activity.

9. Five Below has a philanthropy program

Five Below is a very successful company and they believe in giving back to the communities that have made them so successful. They began their philanthropic ventures in 2005 and since then they have made more than $1 million in contributions for different organizations around the country. The focus of their philanthropic ventures is upon the well-being of children.

10. They donate to St. Jude's

Another charity that Five Below provides assistance for is the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. They've raised more than a million for the hospital. They began an annual Halloween promotion in 2008 and the event has taken place every year since with the proceeds going to the hospital.

11. Five Below helped out with Hurricane Sandy

When Hurricane Sandy Left behind a wake of damage and in some areas, total destruction, the American Red Cross was there to provide aid to the victims of the natural disaster. Five Below immediately set up a donation program at all of their registers to help in the cause.

They gave shoppers the opportunity to donate $1 to the charity and when it was all said and done, Five Below and their shoppers had raised a total of $50,000 in donations. Five Below matched the amount of funding that was raised and donated $100,000 to help out.

12. They target women and children

This isn't as ominous as it might sound. Five Below's target audience is women, children, teens and adolescents. They assess what people within these groups are purchasing regularly and then they stock the shelves with items that will appeal to them as their target audience for sales.

This is a very smart way to do business because it ensures that when shoppers come into the stores they are going to find a variety of items which have been stocked to either meet their needs or appeal to the demands that they have made in the marketplace, and they get them at discount prices which makes it all the better.

13. You might be surprised at what you'll find at Five Below

Five Below's biggest competitor in their niche in the retail sales industry is The Dollar Store. While they are a five dollar and below store, they have a lot of items that the traditional Dollar Stores do not carry.

Since the items that they sell can be priced as much as $5, this gives them the breadth to reach out to their customers with a much larger selection of items. You can find a variety of items at Five Below that you'll never see at the Dollar Store.

14. Five Below is a good place to find electronic accessories

There are a lot of people who have never been to a Five Below store, but if you're looking for accessories for electronics devices, it's worth checking out. You might be surprised at what discounts you'll receive on a variety of electronics accessories. Their inventory is changing and expanding consistently so it's always worth taking a second look.

15. Five Below is a great place to buy gifts

This store is also popular around the holidays and for people who are looking for last minute gift items for birthdays and other special events. While the products that they sell are not expensive, this is part of the appeal of the chain. They offer fashion accessories, sports related items, toys, games, bath and body items, trading cards and much more.

16. It's a hot spot for pranksters

We all deal with the guys at the office who are pulling off pranks and gags on co-workers. You may be wondering where in the world they're finding the interesting gag props that they use. The odds are that if there's a Five Below store open in the vicinity this is where they procured their gag items. The store has a really good selection of novelty and gag items to satisfy your inner prankster. Even if you don't plan on pulling a prank on somebody, it's really fun to see the cool things that they have to offer.

17. They're thriving where others fail

One of the most remarkable and noteworthy facts about Five Below is that while many other stores that have been around for decades are closing their doors, Five Below stores are opening more locations. There is a huge demand for the retail chain around the entire country. It seems that they can't open enough stores fast enough to satisfy the public's demands. It's not hard to figure out why though because they offer some really sweet discounts.

18. They sell name brand items

Another thing that makes Five Below so popular is that they sell many name brand items. For example, they sell Bluetooth headphones and Spalding basketballs. Did you know that you can pick up a yoga mat for only $5 or less at Five Below?

These are just a few of the items that you can find there and although it doesn't seem likely to find name brand items for five dollars or less, it's important to keep in mind that they are a discount store and some of the items are worth several times the amount that they are selling them for and you'll pay higher prices at retailers that are nearby, so don't forget to check out Five Below before your shop elsewhere.

19. Their stores are small and shaped like a maze

Five Below planners are brilliant when it comes to maximizing the space and laying out the store in a convenient plan that makes it easy for shoppers to find what they're looking for.

Each store is approximately 8,000 square feet which isn't that big. They've laid out their floor plan by grouping their aisles around eight product categories. These are sports, party, technology, style ,create, room, candy and their seasonal area which is reserved for the changing of the seasons and holiday items.

20. Five Below is Amazon Proof

This is perhaps one of the most interesting things that we discovered about Five Below. The company has developed a formula that keeps them insulated from the competition that so many other retailers have faced. Amazon is one of the reasons why so many retailers can no longer compete in the industry. They work with hundreds of suppliers from throughout the globe and create some of their products by scratch. They make the store environment one that kids want to hang out in so they're consistently drawing crowds into their brick and mortar stores.

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Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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